The NFL coaching carousel is in full swing, which means you’ll once again be hearing all about the most forgotten rule in the league – The Rooney Rule
Let’s not beat around the bush here. The NFL is comprised of mostly African Americans. In fact, over 70% of the league is comprised of minority players, yet 75% of coaches in the league are white. In 2003 the league decided to institute the Rooney rule. The rule is simple in concept, when you are looking for a new head coach or GM you have to interview at least one minority candidate for the position.
The rule got some time in the limelight last offseason when the Raiders were accused of violating the rule in the process of hiring Jon Gruden. The NFL found that they did comply with the rule but that’s where the controversy set in. Everyone and their mother could’ve told you they were going to hire Gruden, so being forced to interview someone else is a slap in the face to whoever got interviewed. Gruden was pretty much hired before the last coach was fired.
The rule is has good intentions but c’mon….
Do people think having a rule forcing teams to interview at least one minority candidate will really lead to more diversity in positions of power in the NFL? I’m not saying any owner in the NFL is racist ( I’ve never met anyone who owns an NFL team), but if some racist POS owner is interviewing people for either a head coaching or GM vacancy, making him talk to a minority candidate does nothing to change the power discrepancies. They won’t get the job from him, I’m sure they’ll leave embarrassed because they knew there was no chance of getting the job, and how emasculating is that, knowing the only reason you got asked to come to a job interview was that they needed you to come to fill a diversity requirement. I’d be pissed.
What happened to the idea that the job should go to the best, most deserving man/woman who applied? Are there white NFL coaches who have no business being a head coach? Absolutely. A guy like Dirk Koetter, recently fired by the Buccaneers, should not be a head coach. He’s just not good at it. Are there black coaches who shouldn’t be coaching? Hell ya…. have you seen the career Hue Jackson has had? He’s still considered for head coaching roles.
What to make of the image of the NFL’s lack of diversity in the upper ranks.
The NFL is trying to end a racist stigma it has because most of the people in power of a predominantly black league are white. But having a rule that tells teams they must interview certain people for a job isn’t right. To me, the rule itself seems counter-productive to improving racial standings in the NFL. It’s kind of like “hey, you guys can’t get these interviews on your own so we’re going to make them interview you”. I don’t like that, teams know who the qualified people are. To make matters worse there is a list the NFL compiled of candidates they think you should interview, just in case you couldn’t think of any minorities to interview.
In time there are going to be more minority coaches and managers. With coaching changes underway, there are a number of minority candidates teams would love to have. Kansas City’s offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is one of the hottest names on the market. Stanford’s David Shaw has been a hot name for years, he just doesn’t seem to have an interest in the NFL. Vance Joseph will have a head coaching job again in a few years. Even after recently being fired by the Broncos, who are coming off their first back-to-back losing seasons in over forty years. Yes, the NFL will get there, just give it a chance on its own.