NFL Rolls Out Seven-Point Mobility Plan

By Ben Hamill - December 21 2020

NFL Rolls Out Seven-Point Mobility Plan

Initially adopted by the NFL in 2003, the recently expanded diversity hiring-focused Rooney Rule has seen a much smaller share of successes than what it has witnessed a system lacking actual bite. But the league hopes to change all of that with the help of a seven-point mobility plan meant to expedite the process of inclusion and diverse-hiring transformation.

Focused on the rapid improvement of opportunities for minorities appointed in executive positions, the mobility plan aims to fill more executive positions – including head coach and competition co-ordinator positions – with persons of colour. The intensified presence of diversity in the league’s top management and coaching order will hopefully soon be regarded a mission successfully accomplished – especially since the bare implementation of the Rooney Rule on its own has largely failed to yield the desired results.

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This Is What The Plan Entails

The plan basically represents the vehicle by which the league hopes to fast-track the implementation of the already-expanded Rooney Rule. The rule was in May 2020 amended/expanded in several diversity-focused ways, including that of all NFL clubs being required to from the beginning of 2021 invite for job interviews at least two minority applicants for the position of head coach, one person of colour for every three co-ordinator position rotations, and one minority applicant for either the position of “Football Operations Manager”, or the position of “GM – General Manager”.

As for the mobility plan itself, the focus will be directly on the following:

  • The responsibilities of the 32 clubs outlined and explained
  • The flow of information within the league as well as who all have access to that information
  • A focus on developmental/fellowship programs – examples of fellowship programs that have had positive inclusivity-focused effects on new appointments include the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship Program and the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship
  • An increased focus on accountability
  • A more ready and accessible making available of coaches to the media
  • The setting out of a specific and established pathway for progress

Many Have Worked Hard For This

But according to person of colour, former player, and former President of the NFL Players Association, Troy Vincent, even though the endgame remains a reasonably way off, those people who have been tirelessly pushing for diversity over the past 17 years – the Rooney Rule was first adopted 17 years ago – deserve some form of recognition.

People who have been hard at work behind the scenes include League counsel Jeff Pash, Cyrus Mehri, an attorney and one of the developers of the Rooney Rule, several team executives past as well as present – people such as Rich McKay, Amy Trask, Ozzie Newsome, and Katie Blackburn, and the numerous black coaches described by Vincent to have been pillars of support in the fight for inclusivity and opportunity.

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