COLUMN: Why Kansas City Celebrates Its Least Diverse Company

In Kansas City, Sept. 9 was designated “Happy Red Friday Day.” I was first made aware of the event when I drove by what is now called the Spirit of Freedom Fountain and saw that the water had been dyed red.

In Kansas City’s promotional literature, the fountain is the city’s most distinctive symbol. The J.C. Nichols family installed it in 1951, dedicated it to their founding father in 1960, and funded an extensive renovation in 2014. In the wake of the George Floyd mania in June 2020, an ungrateful city stripped the Nichols name from the fountain as well as from the street that runs past it. Nichols’s sin was that a century ago, some of the extraordinary neighborhoods he was developing had ethnically restrictive codes. Those codes were normative at the time.

Normative today are codes that compel companies to make hiring decisions based on the nebulous principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Curiously, the company Red Friday celebrates, the company on whose behalf the fountain flows red, openly flouts those norms. As to the racially sensitive civic leaders who dethroned J.C. Nichols, they lead the Red Friday celebration.

The company in question is the Kansas City Football Club, Inc. Yes, the Chiefs make some token nods to the diversity enforcers in their back office hiring, but for the 59 highest profile, highest paying jobs, the team ignores all Byzantine DEI rules. 

Chiefs do not post a “No women need apply sign,” but they might as well. In the Chief’s proud 73-year history, they have never had a woman on the team. No woman has ever seriously applied. Indeed, there has not been a woman player in the history of the National Football League.

Ignoring the imbalance on the field, the NFL has tried to make peace with DEI nabobs by mandating a new “diversity and inclusion” initiative. Now, each team must employ a “female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority” as an offensive assistant.

Given that most head coaches have had experience coaching the offense, the NFL claims that its new program will, in DEI-speak, “assist greatly in continuing to source and identify diverse candidates earlier in their career, providing pipeline depth and furthering developing the diverse offensive pipeline.”

The candidates chosen will receive a one-year contract with a salary and benefits, and the NFL will reimburse teams up to $200,000 for this gratuitous gesture. Of course, to put females and ethnic minorities in the same box makes no sense at all given that 39% of the coaching positions in the NFL are already held by African Americans, virtually all of whom have had to earn their way to those positions.

The NFL has yet to learn the nuances of DEI language as refined in the halls of academe. There, curve-busting students of Asian origin have made the terms “minority” and “people of color” meaningless. To advance their equity agenda, woke educators focus now on “underrepresented minorities.” Asians need not apply. Similarly, in the NFL, curve-busting African Americans have made the term “minority” and “people of color” meaningless. 

The Chiefs make no effort at all to advance underrepresented minorities. On the roster, there is not a single Asian or Mexican-American, let alone a woman. There are currently only two players of Asian descent in the NFL, and each has a Caucasian father. Although Latinos make up some 19% of the American population, they represent less than 1% of the players in the NFL.

In fields with life and death consequences—medicine, firefighting, flying, and combat come to mind—institutions have had to bend their standards to accommodate the pressure from the DEI industry. Although no one has ever died from an incomplete pass or a missed extra point, the NFL, like all major professional sports, has been blessedly exempt from this madness.

In this regard, the Chiefs are the one company in Kansas City that honors the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They hire the best talent without regard to race, creed, color, or gender. If the numbers break out 71% Black—roughly the league average—and 29% White, so be it. If a player or coach fails to perform, he’s gone. There will be no wringing of hands in HR, no bean counting to see whether the equity numbers have become unbalanced.

Ironically, of course, the same people who demand that the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the Board of Education relax standards to “reflect” the community would throw a thousand yellow flags if the Chiefs did the same. And they would be right to do so.

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