Jon Embree believes racism contributed to his firing at Colorado; we don’t

Jon Embree was fired as head football coach by the University of Colorado on Sunday following two poor seasons in which the Buffaloes went 4-21. The Buffs were coming off a 1-11 season, but Embree was led to believe his job was safe. He was emotional when he learned of his fate, and raised the point that African-American head football coaches don’t often get second chances as head coaches once they’ve lost a job.

On Wednesday, Embree took that point a step further when he told the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio show “Evan & Phillips in the Morning” that he believed his race played a role in his firing.

“I get it, you know, 4-21 is not good, but there’s a lot that went into that,” Embree told hosts Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips. “You know, Gene Chizik was 5-19 and got another job. So to say basically that it was just the record, I don’t buy that.”

Embree recognizes the season went poorly, but he attributed a lot of that to youth.

“We had some bad losses. We had some losses that we were in it for a while … I played a ton of freshman. We started anywhere from 9 to 10 a game. True freshman. It was just the situation that we were in.”

Embree also says he had the support of the athletic department despite the difficult season.

“Every week, going into my press conferences after the game, the athletic director was ‘Hey, we’re in this for the long haul. Think long-term. These kids get older.’ Every week, that same speech was given to me. So to say that it’s record, I don’t buy that.”

Asked if he thinks he would still have his job if he were white, Embree, when pressed, said yes.

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Colorado coach Jon Embree cries at last press conference (Video)

Colorado head coach Jon Embree was fired earlier this week after a 1-11 season, which is the worst year in the history of Buffaloes football. In two seasons as the head coach at Colorado, Embree compiled an incredibly disappointing record of 4-21. A former tight end coach for the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins who never held a coordinator position, it is now obvious that the Colorado alumnus was in no way qualified to be a head coach.

During his final press conference on Monday, Embree broke down and nearly began to cry when discussing the relationship he had with his players.

“You guys just want to try to get me in trouble, huh?” he said while fighting back tears.

While it’s easy to understand how a coach can become attached to his players and get emotional about leaving, Embree left Colorado with no choice. The Buffaloes were beyond awful the past two seasons.

We understand his disappointment that African-American college football head coaches don’t often get second chances to be college head coaches, but what should be focused on is whether an injustice was done, and whether coaches are hired on merit rather than race. Embree probably did not deserve the job in the first place based on his experience, deserved to be fired based on his performance, and he should recognize those truths.