Jerod Mayo: The First Black Head Coach for the Patriots

By Natalie Rodgers For eight straight seasons from 2008 to 2015, Jerod Mayo was making his dreams come true as a linebacker for the New England Patriots. He was named [...] The post Jerod Mayo: The First Black Head Coach for the Patriots appeared first on DiversityComm.

Jerod Mayo: The First Black Head Coach for the Patriots

By Natalie Rodgers

For eight straight seasons from 2008 to 2015, Jerod Mayo was making his dreams come true as a linebacker for the New England Patriots. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Co-Captain, and he won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2014. Upon retiring from the sport, Mayo came back to his home team in 2019, where he served as the Patriots’ inside linebackers coach. With Bill Belichick leaving his position as head coach, Mayo is making the ultimate full-circle journey as he becomes the head coach for the Patriots. He’s the first Black head coach in the team’s history.

Mayo’s position is historic for the Patriots, football and New England. Over the past several decades, New England has been no stranger to making headlines for racially insensitive behaviors and a lack of diversity. This seems especially true in sports, as many athletes and other professionals have openly stated their negative experiences surrounding the two topics. Additionally, despite the vast diversity among NFL players, the leadership positions of the league have the opposite problem. There are now only five Black head coaches in the NFL, including Mayo.

The coach shared his excitement about being a “first” for the Patriots and the importance of diversity in the world of sports. Mayo stated in a press conference:

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

Mayo’s connection with the team through his former coaching position, plus his outstanding career as a player, will hopefully help turn around the team’s less-than-favorable season. Currently standing at a 4-13 record year, Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft stated how he thinks Mayo is the best choice for the team:

“I chose the best head coach for this organization… But I chose him because I believe he’s best to do the job.”

Mayo’s tenure as the 15th head coach of the Patriots is underway as he prepares for the upcoming 2024-2025 season.

Explore more articles for the Black community here.

The post Jerod Mayo: The First Black Head Coach for the Patriots appeared first on DiversityComm.