Conservatives celebrate Bucs coach Todd Bowles’ comments slamming ESPN reporter’s race question – Fox News

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles bats down ESPN reporter

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles was praised by conservatives after chiding the media for “making a big deal” about race when a White ESPN reporter pressed him about diversity.

“The moment you stop making a big deal about it, everyone else will too,” Bowles said.

Bowles, who is Black, took questions from the press Wednesday before the Buccaneers’ upcoming game against the. Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead of asking about football, one reporter pointed out that the Steelers also have a Black coach.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles was praised after blaming the media for "making a big deal" about race

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles has been praised after chiding the media for “making a big deal” about race.
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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“You and Mike Tomlin are the few Black head coaches in the league, I’m wondering what your relationship is with him and your thoughts on Steve Wilks joining that,” a reporter asked. (Wilks was recently named the interim head coach for the Carolina Panthers to become the fourth current Black NFL head coach. Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans is the other.)

Bowles said he has a great relationship with Tomlin, but they don’t “look at what color we are” when their teams face off.

“I have a lot of very good white friends who train in this league as well, and I don’t think it’s a big deal. As for us training against each other, I think it’s normal. Wilks got a chance to do a good job , hopefully he does it, and we coach ball. We don’t look at color,” Bowles said.

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers coaches his team against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 11, 2022.

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers coaches his team against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 11, 2022.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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ESPN’s Jenna Laine, who is White, pressed Bowles, asking if he “understands that representation matters” across the league.

“You have aspiring coaches and football players, they see you — they see someone who looks like them, maybe grew up like them,” Laine said. “That must mean something.”

“When you say, ‘goodbye,’ and ‘look like them,’ and ‘grew up like them,’ that means we’re weird to begin with. And I think as soon as you stop making a big deal about it, everyone else will too,” Bowles said.

OutKick founder Clay Travis blasted ESPN’s Laine for “lecturing” Bowles on race.

“A white woman at ESPN telling a black NFL head coach why his race matters is a perfect distillation of the broken sports media that ESPN has created. It’s all leftist identity politics and cancel culture out there. Good for Todd Bowles for his response,” Travis wrote.

“Good for Todd Bowles. ESPN offered the race bait and he refused to take it,” Ian Miller of OutKick added “Bowles is absolutely right; endlessly pointing out the race of black head coaches doing their jobs for their skin color, not their performance…but that’s what modern identity politics is all about, putting race above any other considerations. Trying to achieve ‘equality,’ instead of equality .”

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Miller – who wrote that Laine’s question was “racist” – is grateful Bowles took the time to answer the question honestly.

“He has good relationships with coaches of all races and that focus on skin color does nothing to normalize black head coaches,” Miller said.

Many others similarly praised Bowles:

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles walks onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on September 25, 2022.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles walks onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on September 25, 2022.
(Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Laine responded to criticism of his question on Twitter.

“Let me make something clear … I did not tell Todd Bowles how he should think or feel about racial representation. I was seeking clarity because his response to another reporter’s initial question on Wednesday was quite different from this response on March 31 when he was hired,” she wrote to accompany footage from his introductory press conference when he expressed that “it means a lot” to be hired after being asked about diversity.

“My line of questioning was directly in line with Todd Bowles’ own comments that day. I would never tell someone whose life experience is different from my own and whose shoes I have not entered, how to feel,” Laine continued. “My job is to seek clarity and gain understanding.”

Bowles is in his second stint as a head coach after three years as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator.

Bowles was fired like head coach of the New York Jets in 2018 after four seasons that resulted in no playoff spots.

Fox News’ David Rutz and Joe Morgan contributed to this report.

OutKick and Fox News share common ownership.

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