Fritz Pollard Alliance: Chris Doyle hire a 'failure of leadership' by Jaguars

The Fritz Pollard Alliance issued a strongly worded statement Friday titled "A Failure of Leadership by The Jacksonville Jaguars" in response to the team's decision to hire former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle as its director of sports performance.

Doyle worked under Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz for 20 years, but parted ways with the Hawkeyes in June of last year after numerous former players spoke out against the assistant, alleging racism and bullying.

The statement from the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a foundation with the purpose of championing diversity within the NFL, came a day after Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer defended the hire and offered sharp criticism of Meyer's choice while pointing to it as a reason for the NFL's lack of diversity within its coaching ranks.

"At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches," Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves wrote in the statement. "Doyle's departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa. Urban Meyer's statement, 'I've known Chris for close to 20 years', reflects the good ol'boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches."

The NFL and the Jaguars currently have not responded to a request for comment.

In defending the hire Thursday, Meyer pointed to the many years he's known Doyle and his efforts to "thoroughly" vet Doyle before hiring him. Meyer added he was "very confident" there would be no issues with Doyle in Jacksonville.

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