The Miami Dolphins held a press conference on Thursday for their new head coach Mike McDaniel and the media couldn’t wait to ask him a question about how he identifies with race.
McDaniel, who is biracial, told the sports media that he thought identifying with a race was ‘weird’ and that he only identifies with being a ‘human being.’
The 38-year-old former 49ers assistant coach admitted he didn’t have any real experience dealing with racism outside of what his white mom experienced during her relationship with his dad and that he just tries to be a good person.
“I know my mom experienced [racism] when she married my dad. I know my dad experienced it, that’s in my family, he said during the press conference. “But I guess that makes me a human being that can identify with other people’s problems.”
The Miami Dolphins announced on Feb 6 that McDaniel would be their new head coach, just one month after firing black head coach Brian Flores.
The move to fire Flores after finishing with a 9-8 record was a shock to some. It also sparked some controversy when Flores claimed the Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him money to lose games. Flores also sued the Dolphins, Broncos, and Giants for racial discrimination during his hiring process after he received text messages from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick congratulating him for a job he hadn’t interviewed for yet.
Mike McDaniel’s first stint in the NFL came in 2005 when he was an intern with the Denver Broncos. He then spent three seasons interning for the Houston Texans. In 2011 he worked as an assistant coach for Washington, until leaving in 2014 to coach the wide receivers for the Cleveland Browns. McDaniel has also coached for the Falcons until he was hired as the 49ers’ run game coordinator. His new head coaching job will make him tied for the 3rd youngest coach in the NFL.
Many people don’t have the choice of whether they identify as a race or not, McDaniel doesn’t realize that no one has ever treated him black because he doesn’t identify as black.
Telling humans you identify as ‘human,’ while being asked a race question is weird, not identifying with a race. I know McDaniel’s black dad didn’t have that choice.