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Reggie McKenzie decries interviews just to satisfy the Rooney Rule

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Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie supports the Rooney Rule. But after an offseason in which every NFL team followed the letter of the Rooney Rule — interviewing at least one minority before hiring a head coach or G.M. — and yet no team hired a minority, McKenzie questions the extent to which the spirit of the Rooney Rule is being followed.

McKenzie, who is one of five African-American general managers in the NFL, questioned whether some minority candidates are getting interviewed “just to satisfy the rule.”

If it’s used correctly, yes,” McKenzie told CSNBayArea.com of his support for the Rooney Rule. “If it’s used correctly. The bottom line is trying to get guys to work hard, to identify guys who are worthy of getting an interview. Instead of, you know, hiring guys that they know. This just kind of widens the door a little bit. But just to do something just to satisfy the rule? I don’t like that at all.”

The NFL may expand the Rooney Rule to require an interview with at least one minority before filling vacancies for coordinators, assistant head coaches and team presidents, in addition to head coaches and general managers. But McKenzie raises an interesting point: How much do those interviews mean, if they’re done just to satisfy the rule?

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34 Responses to “Reggie McKenzie decries interviews just to satisfy the Rooney Rule”
  1. jimrose62012 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:30 PM

    McKenzie came to Oakland, fired the black head coach and hired a white head coach. Just saying…

  2. sneaky3413 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:32 PM

    If McKenzie really cared about how many minority coaches were in the league, you’d think he wouldn’t have fired Hue Jackson last season.

  3. 3fingerlenny says: Jan 23, 2013 6:36 PM

    He should hire Art Shell

  4. raiderlyfe510 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:38 PM

    Too bad he didn’t let Hue Jackson interview for the job before he fired him.

    Dennis “The Disaster” Allen. There’s nothing about last Raider season that you can hang your hat on.

  5. blueballz77 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:40 PM

    Why should anyone have something forced on them. I agree with the Rooney rule but its become a sham and will stay that way because you are forcing ones hand I think we have come long way

  6. mullman76 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:48 PM

    I like what Big Reg is doing.

    Go Raiders

  7. rickditka says: Jan 23, 2013 6:50 PM

    I will guess that Reggie McKenzies lack of accountability will translate to failure as a General Manager.

  8. jimrose62012 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:55 PM

    Following up my comment…McKenzie obviously felt that Hue Jackson wasn’t right for the job and Dennis Allen is right for the job. For him, it all came down to who – regardless of race – he thought was best for the job. You see where I’m going with this?

  9. bartlettruss says: Jan 23, 2013 7:04 PM

    People aren’t going to get NFL HC jobs because of the color of their skin. That’s all there is to it. The Rooney Rule gives minority candidates exposure, but that is all. No particular team has a quota to fill.

  10. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 23, 2013 7:15 PM

    blueballz77 says:
    Jan 23, 2013 6:40 PM
    Why should anyone have something forced on them. I agree with the Rooney rule but its become a sham and will stay that way because you are forcing ones hand I think we have come long way
    _______________________________

    Why should anyone have anything forced on them?
    Did you miss all the long articles about the lack of minority Head Coaches and Coordinators? It’s for the good of the league and to level the playing field.

    The only way you would feel forced to do it is if you weren’t going to do it anyway. The only thing it is doing is adding another candidate to your pool to interview. You’re not discriminating against anyone.

  11. joewilliesshnoz says: Jan 23, 2013 7:20 PM

    Too bad the rule hasn’t worked out too well for the Steelers, they’d have won nothing without Labeau.

  12. TheWizard says: Jan 23, 2013 7:29 PM

    So you have to interview a minority coach, and be serious about hiring him, but you don’t really have to hire him, as long as it’s not a charade – got it.

  13. BigRedRulesDaRoost says: Jan 23, 2013 7:39 PM

    I bet if you ask Ray Horton he might say that the minority candidate has to be from outside the organization to satisfy the “Rooney Rule”

  14. iowahbr says: Jan 23, 2013 7:41 PM

    Does Mr. McKenzie feel that the league could use more white DBs and WRs? Race doesn’t matter there or at the HC position.

  15. raidersfolife says: Jan 23, 2013 7:46 PM

    jimrose62012 says:Jan 23, 2013 6:55 PM

    Following up my comment…McKenzie obviously felt that Hue Jackson wasn’t right for the job and Dennis Allen is right for the job. For him, it all came down to who – regardless of race – he thought was best for the job. You see where I’m going with this?

    **************
    Did you actually read the article? He said he supports it, if it is used correctly. Obviously, he thought HJ was not the right man for the job. So, he brought in someone that he thought would (regardless of skin color). Hence, DA got the job.

  16. tdubdizzle says: Jan 23, 2013 7:59 PM

    Race doesnt matter at all, Hue Jackson didnt get fired because he was black and Dennis Allen didnt get hired because he was white. Reggie like most bosses is going to hire the candidate he believes is best for the job, regardless of race. Almost every single comment on here missed the point, he is Pro Rooney rule when its applied correctly not just for the sake of hiring a coach of minority.

  17. raiderapologist says: Jan 23, 2013 8:24 PM

    jimrose62012 says: Jan 23, 2013 6:30 PM

    McKenzie came to Oakland, fired the black head coach and hired a white head coach. Just saying…
    ———
    Perhaps McKenzie fired Jackson and hired Allen without consideration of skin tone. Just saying….

  18. bbwasright says: Jan 23, 2013 8:58 PM

    hmmmm, as I remember the argument for instituting the Rooney Rule was precisely this. The issue wasn’t that minority coaches weren’t getting the jobs, it was that they weren’t even getting in the room to have a shot at the job. As the reasoning went, even if it’s just a check the box interview, that it would create an opportunity to be heard and to give minority coaches the ability to create interest where it would never have even been considered before. Rooney didn’t want to force owners to select coaches based on a racial litmus test. But he did want to force them to meet minority coaches and eventually open their minds to the possibility that this guy might be worth serious consideration.

  19. raideralex99 says: Jan 23, 2013 9:20 PM

    Okay that explains everything why GM Reggie McKenzie fired HC Hue Jackson … they are both black and that’s not alot because they need a minority white on the team … that makes senses.

    I think this minority stuff has to stop because it’s nonsense … why not have a rule where 50% of the coaches and players on each team have to be white and black. Problem solved.

  20. SilentMajority says: Jan 23, 2013 9:26 PM

    Maybe I’m wrong, but this entire issue sounds like its getting blown way out of proportion. Since minority means fewer, not greater them by extension there would be fewer coaches in the league, and even fewer “hot coaching prospects” every year. There just isn’t going to be a Mike Tomlin or Tony Dungy coaching prospect interviewing every year. No disrespect to the minority coaches in the league, but maybe they’re not getting hired because they are not ready for the job, more so than because of their race.

  21. stull60060 says: Jan 23, 2013 9:33 PM

    Why only black coaches might be worth serious consideration. There are plenty of white coaches that don’t get consideration for HC or GM. Again, the black population in America is 12%. 12% of 32 GM positions is 4. There should be at least 4 black GM’s. The same goes for HC’s. However, 12% of a 53 man roster is 7. There are way more than 7 black players on a 53 man roster. Looks like we need some serious consideration for more white players. Maybe Mr. Rooney can come up with a new rule for that disparity.

  22. tfoz5150 says: Jan 23, 2013 9:39 PM

    I think that even if they are bogus interviews it still gives the guys an opportunity to be seen. Whereas without the rule, they would not get that opportunity. You never know, maybe one would impress the hell out of a GM and force his hand. I mean nobody knew who the Steelers coach was before they hired him and he only took his team to two Superbowls in a short period.

  23. autumnwind999 says: Jan 23, 2013 9:46 PM

    Reg McKenzie should shut his yapper and keep his head down. He set the Raiders back years when he fired HueJack for Dennis Allen.

  24. lawyermalloy says: Jan 23, 2013 10:01 PM

    Rooney Rule or NO Rooney Rule, the best qualified wins; end of story!!!

  25. njraiderfan19 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:09 PM

    He fired Hue Jackson because HJ was making overtures like he was going to be running the team, not RM. he shot his mouth off one too many times and RM had to let everyone know who the sheriff was, like any smart boss would. Skin color had nothing to do with it on his part,

  26. smoothrobinva says: Jan 23, 2013 10:16 PM

    Dude hire the best man for the job period. This stuff should be over long ago give it a rest. Interviews should go to qualified candidates it should not go bye race either way. Rule or no rule

  27. randygnyc says: Jan 23, 2013 10:18 PM

    The liberals haven’t gotten the results they were after. The “institutional fairness” they’ve attempted to implement hasn’t yielded fruit fast enough. They want quotas.

  28. downslide33 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:49 PM

    Maybe the league should also institute a policy that more white players have roster spots. I mean blacks make up 65% of NFL rosters , while whites make up only 34%.

    The US population has 78% white , 12 % blacks.

    The NFL has some explaining to do .

  29. aldavis4president says: Jan 23, 2013 11:08 PM

    I just find it interesting that we some of these horrible coordinators/coaches keep getting jobs, you dnt Really see to many change of faces. Same people, new teams. I do believe teams do what’s best for their teams for the most part when it comes down to it.

  30. 1oldpro says: Jan 23, 2013 11:30 PM

    The only way this thing could look more superficially ridiculous, is if someone came out as a Designated Rooney Interviewee(DRI). Charge a flat fee for your services, plus expenses and make yourself available to all 32 teams.
    It would have to be someone with a good reputation, like a DeMarcus Russell who wants back into the NFL. Shoot, the Jets would probably take a serious look at him for their GM position. But when they hire him, whose gonna be the DRI.

  31. beergeekjoey says: Jan 24, 2013 10:48 AM

    Ross Tucker commented on a possible way to mitigate this blatant evasion: require a minimum number of interviews. still evadable, but increases the costs of arbitrary/token interviews to teams.

    that said, I am tired of the hand-wringing about the entire issue. it is not clear to me, and I have seen no credible reporting or research, that this is anything more than a statistical outlier. What I would like to hear from ANY media outlet is a
    sober analysis that looks beyond this year.
    Is there a trend?? Over how many years?? How does the % of minority coaches in
    the NFL (say coordinators and HCs) compare to the representation of minorities
    in the general populace?? To the representation of minorities in the NFL?? To
    the representation of minorities in the poulation of NLF (or NFL and NCAA)
    coaches overall?? If we had numbers like those, then we’d have some basis to
    understand whether this year is a warning sign, or just an outlier. Minorities
    may be underrepresented, but I have heard not a single word of research or
    analysis to date that indicates that. Let’s find out what the real story is
    before reacting with panic. Then perhaps we can have an intelligent discussion.

  32. bigjdve says: Jan 24, 2013 12:02 PM

    The initial question I have is, how come when the black GM fires the black coach and hires a white coach it is done because of ability, and whenever it is a white GM that the does the firing and then hiring, they aren’t being fair to minorities?

    I don’t like the Rooney Rule, because I view it is as unfair to minorities. If you get to many interviews people start to wonder why nobody wants you. Also you have to deal with the fact that going into that interview, you need to not only impress BUT impress more than others because you were forced on someone.

    While the intent is good, it just won’t work.

    However something to do that would work, have multiple networking events and/or seminars a year where the Owners, GMs, and HCs meet with all of the up and coming coaches. This allows candidates of all races, colors, and backgrounds to mingle with the upper levels. This creates a report and allows for more candidates to become known.

    Most new coaching decisions are made before the firing of the old coaches. That is how businesses work. So not knowing the candidates is a big problem.

    Level the playing field by giving all candidates a chance to meet the management and impress them that way. It is a much better means of getting in the door, ask any salesman worth a salt. And in getting a job that is what you are doing, selling your abilities.

  33. joetoronto says: Jan 24, 2013 6:46 PM

    njraiderfan19 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:09 PM

    He fired Hue Jackson because HJ was making overtures like he was going to be running the team, not RM. he shot his mouth off one too many times and RM had to let everyone know who the sheriff was, like any smart boss would. Skin color had nothing to do with it on his part,
    ************************************************

    Exactly, why some people here are so thick, I have no idea.

    Nobody wanted Hue Jackson as a HC.

    NOBODY.

  34. JSpicoli says: Jan 25, 2013 12:23 AM

    Like this is some kind of revelation.

    It is a dumb rule that only dumb people believe in.

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