NFL Owners Vote Yes To Expanded Rooney Rule

By Ben Hamill - May 21 2020
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NFL Owners Vote Yes To Expanded Rooney Rule

The NFL on Tuesday passed what is possibly one of the most important votes that can be passed by any business, sport-focused or otherwise, which is to improve opportunities for minorities to be appointed in executive positions. In the case of the league, executive positions include head-coaching and co-ordinator positions. The NFL’s Rooney Rule, a rule implemented with the goal of intensifying the presence of diversity in the league, hasn’t been nearly effective enough at its mission to bring about positive transformation.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Tuesday that in the league’s opinion, the steps and initiatives supported by NFL owners during the recent voting process will step up the progress being made in the area of increased diversity in executive appointments and employment. Goodell said that the league and its owners intend to continue to focus on several initiatives intended to work toward the end of increased diversity and that efforts will be ongoing until such time as what greater levels of success have been achieved.

Victory Despite Challenges

Due to public health challenges, the league’s annual meeting planned for March this year, in Florida, was necessarily cancelled. The recent meeting took on the form of a conference call among the owners of the NFL’s 32 teams.

Tuesday also happened to be the day on which NFL teams were supposed to have returned to training, albeit at a limited capacity. For many teams, this however did not pan out as planned and mainly due to ongoing restrictions implemented by provincial governments in their areas. But a day that proved a disappointment in some respects turned out a victory for minorities in another.

The Rooney Rule has now been amended in such a way that by the beginning of next year, all NFL clubs will be required to conduct interviews with at least 2 minority applicants for head coach vacancies, 1 minority applicant for any of the 3 co-ordinator positions and 1 minority candidate for either the position of senior football operations manager or the position of general manager. The amendments were voted into force in such a way that the minority candidates to be interviewed are to be at the time of the interviews, from outside of the NFL.

Owners Have Shown Commitment

The Rooney Rule has certainly worked, indicated NFL Commissioner Goodell, but that does not mean that it worked at full capacity. Goodell said in Tuesday that the NFL recognised that more can and must be done and that this realisation set in anew after the most recent two seasons.

Goodell said that the interview policy changes voted into force on Tuesday were not only bold but also practically demonstrated the NFL’s commitment to working towards increased diversity in all positions of leadership and executive league management.

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