Civil rights leaders call on NFL to replace Rooney rule: NPR


Civil rights leaders who met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday called on the league to establish specific recruiting and hiring procedures for management and coaching positions, with significant consequences for teams. who don’t follow the rules.

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Civil rights leaders call on NFL to replace Rooney rule: NPR

Civil rights leaders who met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday called on the league to establish specific recruiting and hiring procedures for management and coaching positions, with significant consequences for teams. who don’t follow the rules.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

A group of American civil rights leaders has called on the NFL to override the Rooney Rule – along with several other changes to recruiting and hiring procedures for League-wide positions.

Leaders of the NAACP, National Urban League, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Action Network and National African American Clergy Network requested to meet with league commissioner Roger Goodell after the Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores has filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams – the Giants, Broncos and Dolphins – accusing them of racial discrimination.

Flores’ lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for all black head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and quarterback coaches as well as general managers and African American candidates for those positions.

The Rooney Rule, a policy that took effect in 2003, requires teams to interview candidates of color for head coaching and senior operating vacancies.

At a meeting on Monday, executives asked Goodell to replace the existing rule and for the League to review specific recruiting and hiring procedures as they relate to his managerial and coaching positions. The group also called for “meaningful consequences for teams that break the rules”.

“As well-meaning as it is, the effect of the Rooney Rule has been for team decision-makers to view interviewing candidates of color as an extraneous step, rather than an integral part of the hiring process” , National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said in a statement to NPR.

He notes that the NFL currently has only one black head coach, Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh – two less than when the rule was established. David Culley, who is also black, was fired by the Houston Texans at the end of the regular season.

“The gravity of the situation has long since passed crisis point,” Morial continued.

National Action Network (NAN) founder and chairman Rev. Al Sharpton Sharpton said the organization would approach states and municipalities to “stop public funding and tax incentives” at NFL stadiums until that the objectives presented by the leaders are achieved.

“The Rooney Rule turned out to be something the owners deceptively seemed to seek out for genuine diversity,” Sharpton said in a statement. “We need to have firm targets and timetables.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press the group had a “productive and thoughtful conversation,” saying the league aims to establish “equitable access to opportunity” for everyone.

“We look forward to continuing the dialogue,” McCarthy said.

Leaders of the five organizations said they welcome Goodell’s announcement of an independent review of the NFL’s diversity, equity and inclusion policies and initiatives, but that the civil rights and racial justice must be part of this review.

“It’s just not enough for the League to declare its good intentions,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “It is a long-standing crisis that must be faced with diligence and rigor.”




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