In dark day for NFL diversity, Newsome shines
Ozzie Newsome is called "The Wizard" because he's kept the Baltimore Ravens vibrant since becoming the NFL's first black GM.
February 1st, 2013
09:41 AM ET

In dark day for NFL diversity, Newsome shines

Editor's note: Terence Moore has been a sports columnist for more than three decades. He has worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer, the San Francisco Examiner, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AOL Sports. Follow him on Twitter

By Terence Moore, Special to CNN

New Orleans (CNN) - Suddenly, after years of the National Football League advancing toward the end zone of equality in its hiring practices, diversity has been smacked for a sack and a fumble.

Let's get the brutal numbers out of the way, and then I'll move to the contradiction to everything I just said, which is the brilliant career of Ozzie Newsome. I mean, among the recent vacancies in the NFL, where 70% of the players are black, there were eight openings for head coaches and seven for general managers.

None were filled by minorities. Zero. Zilch.

How strange, because this is a 93-year-old league whose most impressive guy at running a franchise these days is darker than Vince Lombardi of the past and Bill Belichick of the present.

I'm referring to Newsome, 56, who harkens of the future, because he has a tendency to stay a few paces ahead of his NFL peers.

They call Newsome "The Wizard" for his ability to keep the Baltimore Ravens vibrant throughout his decade as the NFL's first black general manager. In fact, this Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end-turned expert talent evaluator has replaced the Gatorade bath after huge victories as the rage around the league.

"It's part of the dream, that dream," Newsome told reporters at the Ravens' headquarters last week when describing his NFL success. "I don't know if I'll have to pinch myself to see if I'm still dreaming."

No, Newsome's NFL legacy is real, alright.