Although the NFL surpassing Major League Baseball as America’s favorite sport was a relatively recent occurrence, the NFL has been better than MLB at representing the social melting pot known as the United States for quite a while.
Exhibit A: While about 40 percent of MLB players are Black or Latino, only one MLB team has a Black manager, and only one has a Latino manager. In the NFL, six of the league’s current head coaches are Black or Latino.
Exhibit B: There has never been a female umpire or female coach/manager in MLB. This year, the NFL introduced its first female official and its first female assistant coach.
Exhibit C: In the entire history of MLB, there has been only one known Muslim ballplayer. In the NFL right now, there are at least a handful of known Muslim players.
Going into the 2015 regular season, which kicks off Sept. 10 when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers on NBC, here are the known Muslim players who will be showcasing their skills in front of a populace for whom football Sundays have almost become national holidays:
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