While the National Football League’s (NFL) team owners agreed on some changes to get more minorities hired into coordinator, executive and head coaching positions, they were unable to agree on an initiative that sought to reward teams who did so with better draft-pick positioning. The proposal will now be tabled for another meeting at a later date.
All the NFL’s teams will now be required to interview minorities from outside their team for key positions.
A minimum of two candidates for the head coach position must be interviewed, as well as one for any of the three coordinator positions, and one for general manager or senior football operations positions.
The “Rooney Rule” now applies to most executive positions. Teams are now required to include minorities as well as female applicants in interviews for senior positions within the team, such as sales security, human resources, IT, and marketing.
The “Rooney Rule” was named after the late owner of the Steelers, Dan Rooney (pictured), who pushed for more diversity in the NFL. It was passed in 2003. The NFL has expressed its full support and cooperation for these requirements.
Roger Goodell , the commissioner of the NFL, said that diversity will be a key component in the league’s continued triumph. Goodell admitted that the “Rooney Rule” has not accomplished all it was meant to do, which is why the new changes in diversity policies are necessary for the future of the NFL.
Currently, there are just two general managers and four minority coaches in the NFL, while 72% of its players are minorities.
In the aftermath of the 2018 season, eight head coaching vacancies opened up, with just Miami’s coaching slot filled by a minority, Brian Flores. At the conclusion of last season, there were five head coaching slots available, with just one minority being hired, Ron Rivera of Washington.
Next Conference Call on May 28
NFL team owners are scheduled to conduct another conference call on May 28, but the call is expected to table any more discussions on diversity. Instead, the call will focus on rule changes, with a key discussion centering on the dropping the video review of pass interference. The rule was instituted for a one-year trial basis, and many in the league feel that it cannot carry over into future seasons.
According to Rich McCay, president of the Atlanta Falcons, the rule has put the league in a difficult position. Fortunately, McCay said, the rule can simply expire on its own if teams do not recommend for it to continue.