British Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde discusses the importance of kneeling down to continue to address “uncomfortable conversations” and the NFL’s pursuit of diversity.
By Sky Sports NFL
Last update: 06/11/21 12:36 PM
Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde talks about positive steps the NFL is taking on inclusion and diversity and how ‘keeping the discussions going is very important’
British Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde said taking a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement is essential to continue to address “uncomfortable conversations.”
Durde, who was born in Middlesex and played a leading role in the success of the International Player Pathway program, has seen NFL teams and professional sports leagues around the world unite to embrace the anti-racism move in 2020 at the sequel to high profile cases of police brutality. , including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
England players were recently booed by small sections of fans as they knelt before their Euro 2020 warm-up matches, with those in the opposition citing political aspects as the reason for their actions.
Manager Gareth Southgate and his players have since reiterated their position is a peaceful protest against social injustice, inequality and discrimination, insisting they are now determined ‘more than ever’ to continue to kneel .
It comes nearly five years since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem ahead of the San Francisco 49ers’ third preseason game in 2016 to protest racism. systemic and police brutality, before dropping to one knee before the opening game. season match the following week.
âI think the discussion is good, I think that’s what it is,â Durde told Sky Sports. “It’s a realization. I think you have to constantly do it. Is it 100% perfect? ââNo it’s not, but it’s an obvious thing. I think it is. that you just have to keep the discussion going, you have to keep bringing up the uncomfortable conversations and then when people have the chance, you have to give them everything you have.
âYou might not always be successful, but you represent the fact that those opportunities should be there. Because what will happen is if it doesn’t work for the first or second wave of people, the next one. wave of people will. “
Durde believes the continued stance in favor of inclusiveness can have a significant long-term impact by opening doors for others to pursue roles like the one he worked for in the NFL.
“It’s like the way I got into football, people like Gerry Anderson, he started playing professional football and got to where he got to which helped me get to where I am and all of a sudden I got to where I got to and now I’m looking at Efe (Obada) and Jordan (Mailata) and these people, it’s on different levels but to me it’s the same concept.
âI have to meet Gareth a few times and what a great guy. I think that’s it, constantly keeping the discussion going and never forgetting constantly that this is where is super important and having people on these platforms using this platform- form to address is extremely important, we have to keep doing it. Because what happens is you get opportunities, like I had an opportunity. I think we can’t look at that and say “it doesn’t work” and look at it in a cynical way, It does. “
The push for social justice over the past year has meanwhile turned the spotlight on the NFL’s own approach to addressing coaching diversity and building on the aspirations of the Rooney Rule.
There are currently only four minority head coaches in the league: Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ron Rivera of Washington and Robert Saleh of the New York Jets, the latter being the senior coach- Muslim leader and the only minority coach to fill one of the seven vacant head coach positions after the 2020 season.
The league had sought to expand opportunities last year by passing a proposal to encourage the development of minority coaches and executives with draft picks.
Former Atlanta Falcons coach Durde recognizes the responsibility of maximizing his opportunities as he seeks to pave the way for those in a similar position.
âI think when you talk about diversity, it’s about opportunity,â he said. âIt’s an important thing, something that has sometimes been blocked. I think giving people opportunities is the start.
“Yes you have to be ready for the opportunity, yes you have to have the knowledge base to grow in this opportunity, but the opportunity is the # 1 thing and I think you can see the NFL is trying to do it in the best way possible and I think these are some of the most inspiring things for me.
âPersonally for me when you have this opportunity I can’t, in my mind I won’t be bad because at different levels I represent a lot of different people, I know that. I represent the British, I represent people of color, there are different things that come with that and you just have to take it and go in the right direction. “
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