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Goodell: NFL to extend Rooney Rule to women for executive positions

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The NFL will have its first full-time female assistant coach in 2016 and the league is expected to have more female officials on the field in the near future as well.

On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league is going to expand efforts to get more women into executive positions around the league as well. Speaking at the NFL Women’s Summit, Goodell said that the league will extend the Rooney Rule requirements for interviews with executives to women.

“We have something called the Rooney Rule which requires us to make sure when we have an opening at the team level or the league level that we are going to interview a diverse slate of candidates,” Goodell said. “We are going to make a commitment and we’re going to formalize that we as a league are going to do that for women at all of our executive positions.”

Goodell noted that the league added two women to senior positions over the last year or so and stressed the league’s desire for more “diversity in our management.” The effectiveness of the Rooney Rule at fulfilling the goal of increasing the number of minority coaches and executives has been debated since its adoption and this expansion will likely lead to the same reaction as it gets implemented in the future.

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122 Responses to “Goodell: NFL to extend Rooney Rule to women for executive positions”
  1. lightningbuggs says: Feb 4, 2016 12:55 PM

    This country. SMH.

  2. Johnny Styles says: Feb 4, 2016 12:55 PM

    *sits back and waits for the comments to come in*

  3. sloiggles says: Feb 4, 2016 12:58 PM

    This article might have some of the greatest PFT comments ever.

  4. olskool711 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:58 PM

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a conspiracy theorist to see where all this is leading.

  5. coutre says: Feb 4, 2016 12:58 PM

    There are going to be some great comments here. Most of the women at the league office are there only because they are women.
    Goodell should come out and say that the NFL is only going to hire the best qualified person for a position, regardless if they are a man, woman, white or black. The NFL hires two groups of people: affirmative action and nepotism. Wonder why they can’t get out of their own way? Because 90% of the people at the league office have no qualifications to be there. Ask Troy Vincent why he only hires minorities and you will find out why the football ops dept is in a complete state of disarray.

  6. mightymightylafootball says: Feb 4, 2016 12:59 PM

    As the commercial once said…


  7. walker615 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:59 PM

    With all the problems the NFL has, this is what this bumbling fool has been spending his time on?

    What a moronic idea.

  8. holeinone09 says: Feb 4, 2016 12:59 PM

    How about Italians? I think Italians shouldbbe interviewed for head coaching openings, assistant coach openings, executive level openings, ball boys, and any other position that relates to the NFL.

  9. swedishchefstache says: Feb 4, 2016 1:00 PM

    What’s the point of being the boss if you can’t stock the pond a little?

  10. mogogo1 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:00 PM

    How basically every Rooney interview has went since the very start:

    “Todd, great to see you. We love how you run a defense.”
    “My name is Tim and I’m an offensive coordinator.”
    “Fantastic interview, Tom. We’re going a different direction but we just might have a spot open for you to work your magic on our special teams.”

  11. gibbskins9 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:01 PM


  12. icdogg says: Feb 4, 2016 1:01 PM

    New position: VP of sammiches

  13. freedomofspeechyesway says: Feb 4, 2016 1:02 PM

    Policies like this rely on the assumption that those in hiring positions care more about the demographic of the person than how successful they will make their organization.

    Pretty interesting assumption Roger is making about the owners.

  14. accipiterq says: Feb 4, 2016 1:02 PM

    Oh man.

  15. camdenyard says: Feb 4, 2016 1:03 PM

    LOL…what the hell is going on here?

  16. cinvis says: Feb 4, 2016 1:04 PM

    I wonder how if the Women’s libbers think they are winning now that they will have sign up for the draft… lmao

  17. edelmanfanclub says: Feb 4, 2016 1:04 PM

    More reverse discrimination…

  18. jeffcfalcon says: Feb 4, 2016 1:06 PM

    The NFL already has a place for women and that is the cheerleaders. Although some look like men so maybe this is what this rule is for.

  19. jeffcfalcon says: Feb 4, 2016 1:07 PM

    The NFL also needs to make a rule that says you have to have an IQ above 5 to be the commish

  20. herlies says: Feb 4, 2016 1:08 PM

    I think it makes great sense. I also can’t wait to see a woman leading a country that was built by men…

  21. Kapodaco says: Feb 4, 2016 1:08 PM

    Great job making the NFL more progressive.

    How about that catch rule?

  22. raidernation210 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:08 PM

    Should be known as the Al Davis rule since he did this years ago. Just like he was the first to hire a Latino and African American as a head coach. Calling it the Rooney Rule is a disgrace

  23. mullman76 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:08 PM

    Also, Al hired these people because he believed them to be the best for the job, not to gain publicity.

    Al Davis = visionary and football genius.

    Carry on.

  24. kneedragr says: Feb 4, 2016 1:08 PM

    Roger you need to take a page out of your own book, and open up your position for potential female candidates.

  25. thefatlazygamer says: Feb 4, 2016 1:08 PM


    All teams to be awarded participation medals instead of one team winning the Lombardi trophy at the Super Bowl.

    The Browns are finally on top!

    32 parades instead of one!

    Everyone is happy!

  26. huh6016 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:09 PM

    What about midgets,unicorns and Sasquatch?

  27. tomhagansite says: Feb 4, 2016 1:09 PM

    The NFL doesn’t even comply with the Rooney Rule in its current form.

  28. cobrala2 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:09 PM

    Half of America’s problems are promoted by those not involved in the allegations whatsoever.

    The other half of the problems we are ignorant of.

  29. cheapglazers says: Feb 4, 2016 1:09 PM

    I have binders full of woman.

  30. thermanmerman99 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:10 PM

    Maybe they can be in charge of braidig the players hair before games.

  31. darabbler says: Feb 4, 2016 1:10 PM

    If I was a the Browns owner, I would only hire Female front office staff, that way when I fire them in 2 yrs I wont owe them as much money.

  32. vikesfan320 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:10 PM

    Wonder how many elevator-related incidents will come out of this decision. (wink wink)

  33. bitterpigskinwytboy says: Feb 4, 2016 1:10 PM

    Lol white boys get so mad and scared when other people are given a chance to replace them. Cam is a perfect example. They cry about him celebrating, but wont complain when rodgers does it. White boy privelege is coming to an end. Get used to fair competition

  34. delcodonny says: Feb 4, 2016 1:11 PM

    about as dumb as putting a Rooney rule for white people at skilled positions.

  35. kevinlawrencecantor says: Feb 4, 2016 1:12 PM

    Let’s not focus on the pathetic PR stunt this is.

    Women getting opportunities in coaching, in officiating, in broadcasting, executive roles, these are great things.

    I just don’t see where the demand is. When people talked about how great it was that the Bills hired a female coach, was it really a Jackie Robinson moment or just rewarding someone who earned the role?

    I don’t know how many women are really trying to get into NFL coaching. That’s not me being sexist, I would admit I am wrong if someone could supply information to the contrary. I just don’t think the plight is at the extent where we need a Rooney rule, implying dozens of women are being held back from these positions just because they can’t get an interview.

  36. Kingmj4891 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:13 PM

    How about just let teams hire the best candidate available that they want to hire.

  37. najacoo22 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:13 PM

    What a joke.

  38. PATRIOTSDYNASTYLIVES says: Feb 4, 2016 1:14 PM

    I say we have a Roger Rule , which consists of a panel of current owners and players who are looking to replace Roger Goodell from office as commish..You like apples??? how bout them apples Roger??

  39. jmac1013 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:14 PM

    They should extend the rooney rule to non qualified candidates. I’d really like a chance to work in the FO of a NFL team. However, since I don’t have any qualifications I feel I am wrongly being refused the opportunity. I can’t even get an interview.

    If I just had a chance to show a team that, while I lack the basic qualifications, I can do the job. I’m a fan and a really nice guy.

  40. ctiggs says: Feb 4, 2016 1:15 PM

    Is it April fools day?

  41. ctiggs says: Feb 4, 2016 1:16 PM

    food and laundry services ?

  42. vikesfan320 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:16 PM

    This reminds me of “The Office” episode where Michael Scott goes to the Board of Directors meeting and makes outrageous promises about having a 45-day plan made up in 15 minutes just to appease the crowd and make them like him. Goodell probably saw the woman crowd and is like “We’re going to interview women!” and now he’s going back and all the owners are giving him the WTF was that talk.

    If they ever re-make or re-boot The Office, Goodell has to play the Michael Scott role. The resemblances are uncanny.

  43. bearwithjetpack says: Feb 4, 2016 1:16 PM

    Now we can waste womens’ time with shameless diversity quota interviews just like African-Americans’. Progress!

  44. pasipblog says: Feb 4, 2016 1:17 PM

    A case in point is when Tennessee Titans were trying to recruit a head coach. Steve Underwood says that they were going after an offensive minded coach in the press conference after Ken Whisenhunt’s dismissal.

    The Rooney candidates that were interviewed were Defensive Co-ordinators. Ray Horton and Teryl Austin. All the real candidates were offensively minded. The rooney Rule is charade and a masquerade. No one gets admonished or fined. Everyone just looks away. The NFL from office is just a a big front!!

  45. pittsburgh84 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:17 PM

    Does interviewing a black woman give you extra credit?

  46. ctiggs says: Feb 4, 2016 1:18 PM

    NFL needs to realize its pretty much discriminating against blacks and now women with this worthless rooney rule. With women it will probably be MUCH worse when they are the token interview.

  47. mt10425 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:20 PM

    If the ‘Rooney Rule’ applied to NFL Commissioners, maybe we wouldn’t have the idiot we have now.

  48. bstngrdn says: Feb 4, 2016 1:21 PM

    All he lacks is the fiddle to compete on the same level and theme as the mad Emperor Nero.

  49. bitterpigskinwytboy says: Feb 4, 2016 1:21 PM

    White boys get mad at anything that threatens their white boy privelege. Thats why they about newton celebrations, but not Watt and Rogers

  50. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Feb 4, 2016 1:21 PM

    Does Greg Hardy’s parole officer count as an executive position?

  51. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:22 PM

    Just don’t give Favre a job there too

  52. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:23 PM

    by the way, wtf is the NFL’s Women’s Summit?

  53. marvsleezy says: Feb 4, 2016 1:23 PM

    Why are you guys so mad about a woman getting an interview? Not even a job, just an interview??

  54. steelerben says: Feb 4, 2016 1:23 PM

    People complain about the Rooney Rule like they are the ones that need to conduct the ONE extra interview. What is the problem with making sure that female candidates at least get an interview?

  55. billsfaninhouston says: Feb 4, 2016 1:25 PM

    Look, I love women as much as every good American does (the girls at Twin Peaks know what I talking about!). However, what experience will these women having running/coaching/scouting for teams? I mean, most good coaches, even execs have had some direct experience playing.

    I just don’t get this. Aren’t they happy being cheerleaders? I know I am!

  56. bucrightoff says: Feb 4, 2016 1:25 PM

    Rooney (Mara) rule?

  57. artvan15 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:26 PM

    Way to go Rog!!!

  58. charger383 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:28 PM

    the late great nfl

  59. bobsnygiants says: Feb 4, 2016 1:30 PM

    fire Goodell and give a female a shot at it.

  60. ebdug says: Feb 4, 2016 1:32 PM

    If I was a woman, I wouldn’t want to be within an arms reach of Goodell.

  61. str82dvd says: Feb 4, 2016 1:32 PM

    It will soon be illegal to be a white male. Vote Trump!

  62. bigbamboom1 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:34 PM

    This decision will make sense to me, when I see Denver draft Taylor Swift in the first round; Bears draft Ronda Rousey; Patriots draft Giselle Bunchen; And Seattle drafts Oprah! With all of them targeted to play Center. Aye-Yi-Yi Goodell! What are you thinking?

  63. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Feb 4, 2016 1:34 PM

    Will they be allowed to wear pink outside of October?

  64. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Feb 4, 2016 1:35 PM

    Some women can be good at these things, however I prefer men, but that’s just how we roll around here. The bigger and meatier, the better. They like coming over. And staying.
    Personally, I avoid the women. They’re big and meaty around here, too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, they just are. They don’t interest me. They can run this league into the ground just as well as the men can.

  65. pftfan says: Feb 4, 2016 1:36 PM

    No higher comedy than seeing a bunch of white males lining up to post “REVERSE DISCRIMINATION!”

  66. Njdjp says: Feb 4, 2016 1:36 PM

    I have a femalel friend employed by an NFL team who is Harvard undergrad and Harvard Business School, a Division I athlete and forder “pro” basketball player (she made very ltitle money). That makes her more qualified than Roger, who was born on third base and thinks he hit a homerun.

  67. dietrich43 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:36 PM

    If I understand this correctly, it means the NFL office doesn’t think the 32 Owners can see past their racist and sexist opinions and interview anyone but white dudes.

  68. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:37 PM

    this isn’t going to become part of the ‘catch’ rule, is it?

  69. boltfan29 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:41 PM

    If there’s one place where something like this makes sense, it’s the NFL. I get that it’s a male sport and that the people who move to executive positions sometimes HAVE to have playing experience to help make better decisions… but it doesn’t have to be ALL positions. There are hundreds of jobs in Accounting/Finance, Legal, Administration, etc that don’t necessarily have to have someone with a football playing background. It makes complete sense that it’s predominantly male now but if that means they won’t interview/consider someone who’s qualified for a position just because they’re not a male or with experience, that’s not right… if you have to force people to interview qualified candidates, I’m for it. If this is just to get a “token” to appease the liberals/media, shame on the league.

  70. leroyquimby says: Feb 4, 2016 1:44 PM

    If people did the right things in the first place we wouldn’t need rules like this

  71. youdrivemenutseagles says: Feb 4, 2016 1:45 PM

    I understand the intentions of the rule, but for progress to truly happen, it can’t be forced.

  72. hairdownthere says: Feb 4, 2016 1:46 PM

    Next up, each team will have to hold tryouts for 5 women until they can set their final roster.

  73. r8rstacey30 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:46 PM

    Can we expand the Rooney Rule to get a new Commissioner?

  74. theawkwardyears says: Feb 4, 2016 1:47 PM

    Perhaps they should start paying the Cheerleaders more than 1500 a season as well… Greedy Greedy Goodell

  75. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:48 PM

    Political correctness is running wild and crushing this country.

  76. cs-lewis says: Feb 4, 2016 1:48 PM

    why don’t we just outlaw white men from any position in the NFL. Seems that’s the way this crap is going…

  77. awdlmd says: Feb 4, 2016 1:48 PM

    That popping sound is the mouth-breathers’ heads exploding.

  78. oiler1980 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:52 PM

    Rogers a clown…

  79. cs-lewis says: Feb 4, 2016 1:54 PM

    i want to see women considered for roster positions. Seems only fair that 10% of all teams include women on the roster…

  80. nevalha says: Feb 4, 2016 1:57 PM

    I can’t decide if Steelerben’s comment is legit or a sneaky excellent Roethlisberger slam.

  81. pftusername1 says: Feb 4, 2016 1:59 PM

    All for it as long as the first job filled by a qualified woman is NFL commissioner.

  82. brianjoates says: Feb 4, 2016 2:00 PM

    Yet, let’s not talk about the Native Americans.

  83. bat42boy says: Feb 4, 2016 2:03 PM

    Just one word…STUPID!!!!!!

  84. boston444 says: Feb 4, 2016 2:04 PM

    What’s the point of leading on some hopeful young woman to think they could get an executive position when in all likelihood they are just being brought in to comply with this new rule. Not to say women are incapable of a front office job but in this league I guarantee teams would prefer a male given the current status of most league offices

  85. steelerben says: Feb 4, 2016 2:04 PM

    Legit. I like the Steelers. My name is Ben. I’m not that creative with user names.

  86. therealjr says: Feb 4, 2016 2:07 PM

    Dear NFL,

    The best way to address perceived discrimination is to reverse it into actual discrimination. Said no sane person ever.

  87. mrfrostyj says: Feb 4, 2016 2:07 PM

    This is great news. Whatever needs to be done to counter act the “York” rule of “you must interview your dumbest son for all executive positions”. The Browns, Colts and Bengals might have more than one superbowl between then in 40 years if it weren’t for that rule.

  88. mrfrostyj says: Feb 4, 2016 2:08 PM

    “superbowl win” I meant to say

  89. cafetero1075 says: Feb 4, 2016 2:14 PM

    What’s next, Miko Grimes gets to be GM of the Rams next

  90. turtlehut says: Feb 4, 2016 2:14 PM

    The NFL should get totally Politically Correct by imposing diversity quotas on everything that match the population as a whole. While they are at it they should apply the same quotas to the pro bowl.

  91. fwippel says: Feb 4, 2016 2:14 PM

    Typical Goodell: take a bad idea (regardless of the fact that its well-intentioned) and spread it around.

    Meanwhile, keep in mind that this is coming from a league that passed over Gene Washington (an African-American and former NFL player) for commissioner in favor of Goodell.

  92. jbutina says: Feb 4, 2016 2:20 PM

    the Rooney rule IS one of the most racist things in this country . . . yeah, makes sense to expand it . . . NOT, it should be done away with!!!!

  93. bythebay15 says: Feb 4, 2016 2:23 PM

    To all the football “purists”:

    I understand that you might not like this news, but there are some important names in football–past & present–that belong to men who NEVER played the game. Who? Ernie Accorsi. (Yep, you heard that right.) Howie Roseman. [Do I even need to mention Sashi Brown?–okay, that might not help my argument.]

    Women are just as capable of succeeding as salary cap managers, scouts, legal advisors/consigliere (yeah I went there), sports agents, and yes–even in positions overseeing personnel.

    Get over it. Give it a chance and let the NFL be as good and interesting as it could be. Even with this action it will still be a long time before women are accepted for leadership positions on the football side, but progress is progress.

    THANK YOU NFL for FINALLY doing the right thing!

  94. amplewor says: Feb 4, 2016 2:25 PM

    How about a lottery? Whoever wins gets the job?

    Will the cheerleaders have to include Caitlins next?

  95. JSpicoli says: Feb 4, 2016 2:45 PM

    We need a new league.

  96. heymister24 says: Feb 4, 2016 2:53 PM

    The NFL and the country is being run by liberal commies. It’s time for a new footbal league to follow, screw this commie crap.

  97. dickroy says: Feb 4, 2016 2:56 PM

    The Rooney Rule was a nice thought, but it is so easily by passed. Any team will just go through the motions and then hire whoever they choose.
    I am all for hiring women too. I like women. I think they can do a better job than men in some cases. I think it might be time for a woman president, just not the one that is running now!

  98. puntonfirstdown says: Feb 4, 2016 2:57 PM

    Condoleezza Rice for NFL Commissioner.


  99. nfl4dummies says: Feb 4, 2016 3:00 PM

    This announcement coincides with Amy Wambach telling anyone who will listen that she is going to spend her post-soccer career fighting for equal rights for women.

    “..Its astonishing to me that at the executive level – there are very few women…”

    Ironic? I think not…

  100. jolink653 says: Feb 4, 2016 3:08 PM

    I feel like the NFL marginalizes German people. I demand the Rooney Rule is expanded to require that every team interview a German person for every position that becomes available. It’s only fair. Wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect now, would you?

  101. hawks52 says: Feb 4, 2016 3:25 PM

    Serious question – what is an executive position? Is a GM an executive position?

    If so, every team with a GM opening will now be conducting truly sham interviews given that there are not likely many if any women who have the experience necessary to be a GM right now. That may very well change, but certainly we’re not there.

    This is not any form of prejudice – it’s simple reality. The head of the LA Dodgers got into a lot of trouble many years ago for saying blacks did not have the necessities to qualifiy for management positions. He had to resign, since every jumped to the conclusion it was code for “stupid”. All he meant was that at that time blacks did not hold jobs at the lower levels that typically fed the management ranks. (Of course he never said “and that has to change”).

    But few if any women today have the experiences required to take on the challenges a team executive would face. That has to change before you start requiring teams to interview a woman for each executive opening.

  102. heymister24 says: Feb 4, 2016 3:35 PM

    I was beginning to think there was a soetoro harvard rule after the browns hires.

  103. a1b24312 says: Feb 4, 2016 3:39 PM

    they should for e broadcasters to put female reporters in more high profile positions – game day hosts, in booth. Hey, Lindsay Czarniak has hoted auto racing and has done it well.

  104. birdsfan17 says: Feb 4, 2016 3:42 PM

    Just interview a black woman first and kill two birds with one stone. Then go ahead and interview who you really want.

  105. kanodogg says: Feb 4, 2016 3:53 PM

    Will it be called the Pooney rule?

  106. mack2x says: Feb 4, 2016 4:01 PM

    Nothing like forced diversity.

  107. bengalsfan2079 says: Feb 4, 2016 4:07 PM


  108. jonwill57 says: Feb 4, 2016 4:23 PM

    I love it…anything that gets the panties of privileged majority in a bunch…I’m all for it.

  109. bigbamboom1 says: Feb 4, 2016 4:47 PM

    Does “Executive Positions” mean sprinting around desks?

  110. Pftsliberalagenda says: Feb 4, 2016 4:54 PM

    These “privileged majorities” are probably paying your phone bill. So don’t squawk when we gave you this platform.

  111. jo6pack says: Feb 4, 2016 5:07 PM


    What about TG coaches, Goodell? Shouldn’t they also get a chance to be interviewed?

  112. ultimatefrisbee88 says: Feb 4, 2016 5:14 PM

    I think this is a great idea.

    The history of diversity is basically nothing happening until something is forced to happen.

    A fire doesn’t just up and start on its own without a spark, no matter how long those logs are sitting there.

  113. heymister24 says: Feb 4, 2016 5:54 PM

    What happens when the broad goes on maternity leave and the team is on the clock?

  114. heymister24 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:04 PM

    Goodell orders a casting couch for every team.

  115. TheWizard says: Feb 4, 2016 6:07 PM

    And speaking of diversity, did you know first team to win a Super Bowl with a black quarterback was………the Redskins?

    But, I thought they were racists, right?

    It’s so damn confusing…..

    I’m sure the ladies will appreciate this gesture telling them they’re just not good enough so we’re making a special rule.

  116. skawh says: Feb 4, 2016 6:08 PM

    Folks are so afraid of change. Nothing scares whites more than the idea of becoming a minority and being discriminated against – Like they did against minorities for decades. Check the Latino birthrate lately? That’s the sound of progress ticking…

  117. heymister24 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:09 PM

    Do broads get a pass even though they have spatial difficulties.

  118. upperdecker19 says: Feb 4, 2016 6:51 PM

    Caitlyn Jenner is forwarding resumes to NFL decision makers as we speak!

  119. greenbaychicksarefat says: Feb 4, 2016 7:27 PM

    You gotta be smart to be a football coach. Most women are not smart. Therefore women should not coach.

  120. lanman11 says: Feb 5, 2016 1:23 AM

    Do men sit around throwing hissy fits until they can worm their way in to a woman’s sanctuary? No. Why? A woman’s insecurity will forever drive her to want to be in what she thinks is a man’s position, because she is afraid she is missing something. Men don’t have that problem, so they are perfectly fine with letting women’s organizations and activities…be.

  121. lanman11 says: Feb 5, 2016 1:27 AM

    God forbid someone asks her to bring the coffee to a meeting, even if it’s been traditional to rotate the job for eons. That Gazillion dollar law suit will be the end of the NFL, and frankly, it’s getting to the point where I might not miss it.

  122. 1historian says: Feb 5, 2016 9:14 AM

    It seems to me that the primary reason these women are being hired is the fact that they are women.

    Sounds a bit sexist to me.

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