News broke earlier in the week that the NFL owners were going to vote on rewarding teams for hiring minority head coaches and general managers. The plan was to incentivize teams with improved draft positions. Many people considered the proposal to be flawed and controversial. The league office decided not to proceed with voting on that proposal.
However, the NFL knew that regardless of this failed attempt at equality and inclusion, something needed to change.
Established in 2003, the Rooney Rule is a policy that requires teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.
“The NFL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which I believe is critical to our continued success…… While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more. The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league.”Roger Goodell – NFL Commissioner
Today, the NFL announced the following changes to existing Rooney Rule effective immediately:
- Interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching openings
- Interview at least one minority candidate for any coordinator job
- Teams must interview one external minority candidate for senior football operations and general manager jobs
- Teams and the NFL league office must also include minorities and/or female applicants for senior-level positions, including club president jobs
The Miami Dolphins are leading the way with diversity and inclusion in the NFL, having multiple minorities employed in prominent roles, including head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier.