Hot Take: #Super League So White

eddie hemmings samuel l jackson


So the other day, we were having a beer with Djimon Hounsou, and he told us he LOVES Britain.  The thing he can loves best is that he can go to a Super League game, and not even be recognised.

He wanted to know more about rugby league though – his key questions:

  • How many black coaches are there?
  • How many black owners are there?

Now, we obviously told him we didn’t know for sure, but we thought it was maybe a dozen of each.  Then a guy interrupted us (it was Eddie Hemmings), and asked us if we could take a photo of him and Chris Rock.
Anyway, we looked it up, and it turns out THERE ARE NO BLACK COACHES OR TEAM OWNERS IN SUPER LEAGUE.  Zero.

Why isn’t our state-run media making a big deal out of this?  There’s less noise about it than Hellen Keller at a library in outer space.

So we started to come up with some theories as to why.  Our first reaction was: as far as owners go, only white people are dumb enough to blow 6 or 7 figures a year on a minority sport sponsored by mushy peas and Romanian cars.  As for coaching, who would put up with that sort of stress working for bonkers, grey/bald chairmen for paltry wages?

But our second, and probably more correct reaction after we started to think what people would be more likely to click on, is that there is some sort of Oscars-So-White thing going on in Super League.

I mean – how am I supposed to explain to any children I talk to that we don’t have any black coaches or owners in Super League?

For all of the ignorant readers out there (no offense) take a look at these facts:

  • Ellery Hanley – the Leisure Technician – had a SEVENTY-SIX PER CENT winning percentage at St Helens.  Won the Super League.  GONE.
  • Ellery Hanley got one ONE GAME as coach of Doncaster.  They lost.  GONE.
  • Ellery Hanley got one series as Great Britain coach, where he coached the team to maybe the biggest upset ever at Wembley in 1994. (How chilling was that Rule Britannia walk out?). Anyway, GONE.
  • Once upon a time up and coming London Skolars and future London Broncos coach Joe Mbu.  One 86-4 loss to Swinton, and one tiny run-on-the-pitch-and-brawl incident?  GONE.

That is just an unbelievable set of statistics that I uncovered while looking at Wikipedia for 6 minutes.  Now, you can look at the stats and agree with me, or you can look at your own lint-filled belly button and bury your head in the sand.

I think the government needs to step in regulate the sport here.

In the NFL they have what’s called the Rooney Rule.  It says that for every coach or general manager hire, a minority candidate has to be interviewed.  This needs to be instituted immediately in Super League, and we need to call it The Eddie Hemmings Rule.   Interviewees could include Ryan Bailey, Henderson Gill, Jeremy Guscott, Martin Offiah and Samuel L Jackson.

The other thing we need to do is that the government should nationalise all the teams, and auction them off with the bidders restricted to anyone who Eddie Hemmings could potentially confuse with Samuel L Jackson.  We’re talking:

  • Ainsley Harriott,
  • that new guy off Star Wars,
  • Spike Lee,
  • Trevor McDonald,
  • Jazzie B,
  • Daley Thompson,
  • Ellery Hanley,
  • Jada Pinkett Smith,
  • Craig David,
  • Frank Bruno
  • Goldie,
  • Jeremy Guscott,
  • Naomi Campbell.


(Side note:  The following other things should also be regulated by the government:

  1. Claw machines,
  2. Flower companies that you use to send bouquets to women who end up not going out with you,
  3. Me walking up to those guys doing the shell game with the ball under it,
  4. Any business that allows me to make purchases while I’m drunk)



P.S.  Things that Eddie is famous for: 1) Samuel L Jackson, 2) Rugby League.

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Author: Max Smith

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