According to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a civil rights group, Saleh will be the third Arab-American head coach in the NFL after Abe Gibron and Rich Kotite. Both Gibron and Kotite are of Lebanese origin. The Washington Post noted that Saleh was also the first Arab-American coordinator in the league’s history.
With 16 years of experience in the NFL working with Houston, Seattle, Tennessee and San Francisco, Saleh was a sought-after person with interviews with at least four other teams.
In one of the post Office Before last year’s Super Bowl, Saleh shared his family’s immigration story from Lebanon. Saleh’s sporting success follows generations who work in factories to offer family members a better future despite language barriers. “It was good for me to have the opportunity to coach and find another way,” said Saleh Post Office. “That’s pretty cool.”
According to The New York TimesThe tragic terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 led Saleh to pursue his dreams of pursuing the NFL. After Saleh’s brother David survived the incident, Saleh realized that life was too short not to give coaching a chance. David had been in the south tower but managed to escape before collapsing.
“Ultimately, his love and passion for football is the reason he wanted to get into coaching,” said David Saleh The Detroit News in 2020. “He just didn’t want to leave the game.”
Matthew Jaber Stiffler, head of research at the Arab American National Museum, found that many Lebanese Americans, the majority of whom are Christian, often do not identify as Arabs. Saleh, who identifies himself as both a Muslim and an Arab in such an area, is thus not only an asset to the Muslim representation, but also an encouragement to others who might look like him. It enables young colored children to have role models in areas they might want to pursue.
“Having someone in a visible position who is proudly Arab, proudly Muslim – but also a football coach when it comes down to it – helps normalize the experience of Muslim Americans,” said Stiffler said.
Saleh’s appointment was well received not only by Muslim Americans but by others across the country and around the world. The appointment was welcomed by a number of organizations, including the American-Islamic Relations Council. The positive news comes at a time of need in the country and gives hope that a better future awaits us.