What was Hubert Davis thinking? I actually have an idea, a theory, but will save that for later. For now, let’s unpack the new head coach’s misstep.
For those reading who don’t know what he said, the link to his full statement is here, courtesy of The Grio:
Before finalizing my position on this, I wanted to hear from a few brothers who were married to white women, because I just felt that they would be the best persons to fairly comment on this issue. To a man, they all agreed that he was stupid and that the comment was both ridiculous and unnecessary.
However, being a fair person, I tried to consider what he might have been trying to convey but did not communicate so clearly. I came up with “He meant to say something along the lines of ‘mixed race families like ours can bring America together, squash the racial divide and show us that we have more in common than we do as differences’.
That’s WAY DIFFERENT from saying, “I’m proud that my wife is white”. What the heck Hubert? I strongly doubt that if his wife was black, in the same interview, he would have said, “I’m proud that my wife is black”. It is just not something that you would say. So why say this at all?
There are various conspiracy theories, one being that he was trying to make white people feel more comfortable with him because he’s not a real, deep, conscious black man who fights against the oppression of people of colour. Then there’s another theory that he was trying to tell white people that he’s ok, they don’t need to fear him, but that’s really just an extension of the first theory.
I can only conclude that if this interview was his first test as a head coach, he failed and missed the mark. Instead of uniting the country, comments like this polarize and push people further apart. How do you think black women feel upon reading his comments. What if he has a black sister, niece, cousin, etc? Are they supposed to think that he would not be proud to have a black wife? That’s how it comes across.
My recommendation is that he gets together with the communications department at the university with a lawyer present. They should draft and send out a statement clarifying what he meant to convey, apologizing to anyone offended by his remarks, ask for forgiveness and the chance to move on to coaching his team to prepare them for next season. I would not put him back in front of a microphone and a camera again, until he gets a bit more ‘coaching’ in how to deal with media questions.