For those of you who don’t know about the Rooney Rule in the NFL, it’s a simple concept basically when a head coaching job in the NFL becomes available teams have to interview either two black coaches or two ethnic minorities for the position. While the rule has been in place since 2003 and there are penalties for not adhering to it, only one team has been fined for it in nearly 20 years.
The NFL is mostly made up of black players with 68% overall other ethnic minorities make up a further 4% so all in all 72% of the league is non-white. Having said that you would expect the same when it comes to coaching but it couldn’t be further from the truth with there being only three black coaches in the league. There is a massive disparity between players and coaches. You would think that with a rule in place that says a black or other ethnic minority have to be interviewed that there would be way more head coaches in the league but that isn’t the case.
The proposed change to the Rooney Rule is that now teams will get an incentive for hiring a minority coach in the form of higher picks in the NFL draft. There are also those in the league that want the number of coaches interviewed to go up to three. The reason is that if you look at the analytics of it, good things happen for minorities when three or more are interviewed.
While some are not sure if this new change to the rule most agree at least it is a step in the right direction and the NFL has always been a “sheep” league. Meaning owners will do what works to get to the holy grail of winning a Superbowl. All it would take is one coach in the right place at the right time to win a Superbowl and the rest of the league will look at black and other ethnic group’s coaches in a different light.
Most NFL owners are old men with a different mindset to the younger viewer. The younger guys just want the best possible people in the highest positions and some people think this new change to the Rooney Rule might dilute the quality of coaches coming through. In other words, teams might just hire someone of colour just to get draft picks and they have no say in what happens on the field.
In my opinion, this rule will help people of colour immensely. For me, a foot in the door is as good as a seat at the table and this could be the start of an influx of really talented coaches getting opportunities. In Critical Race Theory, there is something called structural racism whereby people of colour are not afforded the same opportunities as those of their white counterparts. I think this new expansion to the Rooney Rule is a way of combating that and bringing some much-needed balance to the NFL as an organization. We have already seen Rapper Jay-z getting involved behind the scenes and also actively trying to become a majority owner in the NFL so this is probably just the next logical step in the evolution of the NFL.