OPINION | Views expressed in this article reflect the author's opinion.
via CBS

Jerod Mayo, the new head coach of the New England Patriots, made remarks about actively seeking out racism, emphasizing the significance of being the first black head coach for the team.

“You better believe being the first black head coach here in New England means a lot to me,” Mayo said. “I do see color because I believe if you don’t see color, you can’t see racism.”

“Whatever happens, black, white, disabled person — even someone with disabilities, for the most part people are like — when they’re young, they kind of make the spot hot. Younger people know what that means.”

“But what I would say is, like no, I want you to be able to go up to those people and really understand those people. It goes back to whatever it is, black, white, yellow, it really doesn’t matter, but it does matter, so we can try to fix the problem that we all know we have,” he said.

This has sparked controversy, especially in contrast to a previous response from Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, who downplayed the importance of race in coaching.

“I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well, and I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Bowles said.

“As far as us coaching against each other, I think it’s normal … We don’t look at color,” he added.

“I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well.”

Mayo’s approach has raised concerns about the team’s culture and his potential response if he fails to lead the team to success.

The focus on race and potential implications for the team’s performance have drawn attention in the wake of Bill Belichick’s departure.

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