Dolphins new biracial coach calls reporter’s question on racial identity ‘weird’: ‘I identify as a human being’

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Mike McDaniel, who is the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins, fielded a “weird” question from a reporter during a press conference on Thursday asking him about his racial identity growing up and stated that he finds it strange “identifying as something.”

McDaniel’s father is black and his mother is white. He asserted that it’s been “weird” how fixated people have become about his racial identity. His hiring comes as the National Football League (NFL) finds itself under fire for a purported lack of minority head coaches.

“It’s been very odd, to tell you the truth, this idea of identifying as something,” McDaniel commented. “I think people identify me as something, but I identity as a human being, and my dad’s black. So whatever you want to call it, I know there’s a lot of people with a shared experience.”

“It’s weird that it comes up because I’ve just tried to be a good person. And I think my background opens my eyes a little bit. I don’t have any real experience with racism because I think you identify me as something close to — I don’t know. I know my mom experienced it when she married my dad. I know my dad experienced it, that’s in my family. But I guess that makes me a human being that can identify with other people’s problems,” he continued, frankly addressing the issue.

The new coach does not want to focus on his race but on the team that he now leads. Regardless of his preference, the media appears intent on making his race an issue and running it into the ground.

Writer Sean Beckwith with Deadspin wrote an article in January calling for NFL teams to hire minority candidates. He claimed McDaniel was taking the coaching position from deserving black men not realizing he was of mixed race.

“Sure, Mike McDaniel seems cool, but he’s not worthy of a head coaching gig yet,” Beckwith added. “Please stop and think before you inadvertently dub another young, white guy as the next hot NFL coaching prospect.”

“Mike McDaniel, the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator who has gone viral for his ‘adorable’ news conferences featuring references to Mike Jones and engaging answers, is ticking off all the boxes to be the next trendy, young, white guy who takes a head coaching position before one of the many deserving Black candidates,” he mistakenly wrote.

After the author learned of McDaniel’s racial makeup, he posted an editor’s note, stating, “We learned after the publication of this article that 49ers OC Mike McDaniel, whom we describe as a ‘white guy,’ is in fact biracial. … We regret the error.”

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith asserted that the hiring of McDaniel doesn’t address the NFL’s coaching issue in regards to black men.

“That’s how he identifies as multiracial, OK fine. This was a conversation, last week, about black men, not getting jobs in the National Football League as head coaches,” Smith remarked as his “First Take” co-host Molly Qerim pointed out that McDaniel’s father is black. “I’m not knocking him. I wish him nothing but the best.”

(Video Credit: NFL Playoffs)

McDaniel is replacing Brian Flores after he was fired in January despite leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years. Flores is currently suing the NFL, the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Giants, over alleged racist hiring practices for aspiring coaches. McDaniel previously served as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator.


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