During a Super Bowl postgame press conference, a reporter appeared to confuse Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. The awkward moment came when the reporter, who is named Michael Donaldson according to the New York Post, asked Leftwich what his “No. 1 goal on the defensive side to shut Mahomes down” was.
Leftwich immediately realized what was happening.
“Shut Mahomes down?” he asked in response. “I think you got the wrong guy. I got nothing to do with that. That was Todd [Bowles].”
He laughed off the moment, but the question has already drawn accusations of racism since both Leftwich and Bowles are Black.
To make matters worse, TMZ reports this wasn’t the only time Leftwich was called a name that wasn’t his own during the press conference. When he was being introduced, it appeared as though the person introducing him called him “Brian” instead of “Byron.” When they introduced him incorrectly, he interjected, “Byron!” To which they corrected themself, with Leftwich adding, “There we go.”
Leftwich appeared to have a good sense of humor during the press conference. Yahoo! Sports reports that he was asked if the outcome of the Super Bowl might encourage teams to hire more Black coaches.
“Probably not,” he replied with a laugh.
Bowles, meanwhile, said the team’s three Black coordinators could give “younger people inspiration hopefully to see us as coaches and see that we can be one of these kinds of people and if we put our mind to it, anything is possible.”