Doyle resigns from NFL Jaguars after racism accusations

·2-min read
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer announced that his choice for director of sports performance, Chris Doyle, has resigned the post for the NFL club

Chris Doyle has resigned as director of sports performance for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars after renewed attention to accusations of racism and bullying of players in his prior job.

A Friday night statement from Jaguars coach Urban Meyer and team general manager Trent Baalke announced the move, which came only a day after new coach Meyer announced Doyle would be on his staff.

"Chris Doyle came to us this evening to submit his resignation and we have accepted," the statement said. "Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville.

"We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his career."

Doyle worked as a strength an conditioning coach for the University of Iowa football team for nearly two decades but departed last June after numerous former players spoke out about his treatment of players.

Meyer defended his friend Doyle on Thursday when asked about the accusations, saying the Jaguars "did a very good job vetting" Doyle and saying he was "very confident" there would not be any issues with Doyle on the Jaguars.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a foundation championing NFL diversity named for the league's first black head coach, came out strongly against Doyle's hiring Friday in a statement titled "A Failure of Leadership by The Jacksonville Jaguars" opposing the move.

"At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches," Alliance executive director Rod Graves said.

"Doyle's departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa."

Graves also took issue with Meyer's defense of Doyle.

"Urban Meyer's statement, 'I've known Chris for close to 20 years', reflects the good ol' boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for black coaches."

js/pb