The Buffalo Bills' hiring of the NFL's first full-time woman assistant coach, Kathryn Smith, this week generally was hailed as a milestone moment for the NFL. For The Win collected a load of congratulatory tweets, which should make us feel warm about how far we've come in the sports world.
Yeah, you knew there had to be a "but." And we're not just talking about misognynistic tripe posted in the comments below a website article. No, we're talking about the nonsense spewed by a guy into a microphone for a radio station in a city with an NFL team.
Kevin Kiley, co-host of a show on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, didn't react well to Smith's hiring.
"No place for a woman in professional sports, in football, coaching men. Men will not take to it," Kiley said (via Sporting News). "If you have 10 men on special teams, eight of them will be mumbling under their breath, it's counterproductive. You're setting her up to fail."
Somehow, this morphed into a rant about women voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"This is the old conversation we had about women vote for the Hall of Fame in football. It's absurd," Kiley said. "I mean, do you really want your determination, whether you make the Hall of Fame in football, do you want a woman to have a vote on that, who's never played the game and doesn't understand the intensity of the game?"
Kiley, a veteran broadcaster who once worked college games for ESPN, played football at Wyoming and for one season in the World Football League after being cut by the New York Jets. He generously did allow that it would OK for women to coach men in basketball and baseball. (You can listen to the whole segment here.)
Look, no one is talking about making Smith or Jen Welter, a coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals during training camp this season, into an NFL head coach. At least not yet.
Because you can't have an NFL head coach who's never played football, can you? Well, actually, you can, if he's a man. Todd Haley, now the Steelers' offensive coordinator, became head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs even though he never played organized football, not even in high school.
But, being a guy, he probably just intrinsically always understood the intensity of the game.