Two days before Super Bowl XLI in 2007, the game’s opposing head coaches posed with the trophy one of them would hoist after the contest. It was a fairly unremarkable event, except that both coaches were African American--a fact that was as much of a story as the game itself.
Head coaching in the NFL had long been a whites-only business, and just a few years earlier such a matchup was unthinkable. In 2002, however, two lawyers, Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., together with a few grizzled NFL veterans, began a movement that would expand opportunities for coaching aspirants of color in the NFL and ultimately transform the League’s racial landscape. Featuring an impassioned foreword by Coach Tony Dungy and written by Jeremi Duru, Advancing the Ball offers an eye-opening, first-hand look at how a few committed individuals initiated a sea change in America’s most popular sport and added an extraordinary new chapter to the civil rights story.