- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Two days after suggesting the term “players’ coach” is racist, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin explained that he really just doesn’t like to be stereotyped.

“I refuse to be put in a box. It’s my job to be what my team needs me to be,” Tomlin said at a news conference Tuesday, NBC Sports reported. “Sometimes it’s close and cuddly and sometimes it’s not. I don’t have any problem being any of the above.”

Tomlin told a Fox reporter on Sunday that he had issues with being called a players’ coach because of the racial and age undertones associated with it. He argued that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau could be called a “players’ coach,” too, but that he isn’t because he’s an “old white guy.”

“Sometimes when they couple ‘players’ coach’ with questions about how I wear my hair or what I choose to wear on the sidelines or what type of music I listen to, then it gets kind of old and falls into that category for me,” Tomlin explained Tuesday, NBC reported.

“I’d like to think the manner in which I do my job, whether it’s positive or negative, has very little to do with my haircut or the clothes that I wear or the type of music I listen to, and that’s when I get annoyed with that line of questioning,” he said.

NBC agreed with Tomlin’s complaints, arguing that using the terms “athletic” or “instinctive” to describe players sometimes results in “lazy” stereotyping.

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