On Friday, the NFL announced a new partnership with two of the leading historically black college and universities (HBCUs) conferences, Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and Mideastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), in order to create job opportunities for ethnic minorities both for professionals and current students at black colleges, reported USA Today.
“Our partnership with the HBCUs is not only important for our pipeline of qualified individuals at all levels of football, but also to improve the NFL’s goals for diversity and inclusion,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. “With our HBCU partnership, we are making steady progress in developing future coaches, officials, scouts, managers, front office personnel and others through effective football resources, educational programs and internships.”
The partnership bridges the gap on a much-needed support system from the NFL. Because of this partnership MEAC and SWAC will be able to offer current and future athletes in their conferences with an opportunity to intern with the NFL. Athletes will also be able to work as athletic trainers, video directors, or equipment managers to gain the hands on experience in the NFL, thanks to the partnership.
— Troy Vincent (@TroyVincent23) May 6, 2016
MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas said, “We are elated to continue our partnership with the National Football League, which includes our current officiating involvement, to advancing the NFL’s diversity and inclusion initiatives with a strategic plan to increase diversity in all areas of employment at the league office and the clubs.”
SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp was excited with the partnership, saying, “The Southwestern Athletic Conference is excited to partner with the NFL and MEAC to ensure that our student-athletes and students have exposure to superior professionals development and the difference career contingencies that the NFL and professional sports to offer.”