Trask: Al Davis’ legacy shouldn’t justify Rooney Rule noncompliance

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The Raiders, by all appearances, fired Jack Del Rio because they know they’ll be hiring Jon Gruden. While they’ll undoubtedly find a way to check the Rooney Rule box by interviewing a minority candidate for the job, the spirit of the provision named for the late Dan Rooney isn’t being honored if the Raiders know they’ll be hiring Gruden before complying.

Some have argued that the franchise’s history of hiring key employees who weren’t while males should count for something, from coach Tom Flores to coach Art Shell (twice) to team president Amy Trask to G.M. Reggie McKenzie. Trask, who now works for CBS, disagrees that the diversity promoted by Al Davis in an era of anything but diversity should excuse non-compliance with the Rooney Rule now.

“Many have asked me whether I think [Oakland should be required to comply [with the] Rooney Rule or whether [Oakland] should be given leeway [because] of Al’s legacy,” Trask said on Twitter. “If [Oakland] opts to comply, it should do so honestly and in good faith. If [Oakland] does not wish to do that, it should be forthright and choose to pay a fine. But I don’t believe that Al’s legacy should be used as justification for noncompliance  — Al hired Tom and Art and me — and Al would be the first to be saddened if it was.”

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the Rooney Rule or whether past diverse hiring practices excuses current noncompliance, the rule remains on the books, and it is mandatory. While it’s possible that the Raiders will persuade a minority candidate to sit for a job that he knows he’ll never get, the rule was created in part to avoid situations like this, where the team essentially hires the replacement before firing the current coach.

83 responses to “Trask: Al Davis’ legacy shouldn’t justify Rooney Rule noncompliance

  1. I understand the Rooney Rule and a but damn if your a minority that gets hired……much harder to get fired. Right Joesph,Bowles, Lewis

  2. vaphinfan says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    I understand the Rooney Rule and a but damn if your a minority that gets hired……much harder to get fired. Right Joesph,Bowles, Lewis

    ____

    I call that progress.

  3. The Rooney rule is so dumb. Has nothing to do with race. What if Belicheck decided he wanted to coach the Raiders for some weird reason. Would the raiders have to interview a minority even though the best coach in football wanted to go there. It makes no sense. So the raiders think Gruden is the answer and by all accounts they’re going to comply. That’s not good enough for some people. They some how have to not think about who they like before the minority candidate is interviewed and then start dreaming?? Cmon

  4. Jim Caldwell got fired with a winning record, three winning seasons and two playoff berths in Detroit. Rooney Rule has nothing to do with why anyone gets fired or retained.

  5. there is to much money involved for the nfl to need this rule. the teams are going to hire who they think is going to win them games, because winning games = money.

    just look at the players, most of the players are ” minorities ” and they make a ton more money than coaches do. and there is no ” rooney rule ” for that.

  6. vaphinfan says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    Right Joesph,Bowles, Lewis
    ___________________________________

    We understand you don’t really know much about football chip but how do you include Bowles on that ‘list’ and not Jackson? With the way ownership stacked the deck against him getting 5 wins and keeping that team playing hard every game Bowles should be a COTY candidate.

  7. But if a black candidate was the first choice then it would be ok with NOT interviewing anyone else, right?

    Reverse racism. Racism of ANY kind is NOT ok.

  8. making something outta nothing- if anything maybe the rule should only be applied to a team that is hiring a new coach without any prior head coaching experience..bottom line a team is going to hire who they want to hire regardless, and that’s just a fact.

    GO Raiders!!! Keep Reggie!!!

  9. Commentwaitingdeletion so a coach with 5 wins should be considered for COTY? And I get it should be 6 because of the bogus patriot call due to patriot privilege but it is what it is…..5 wins.

  10. In 2017, I think the Rooney Rule has becomea farce. I get what its purpose was when it was instituted in 2003, but again, its now 2017. Lets move on and just hire the people who we think are best for the job, regardless of race, without the dog-and-pony show.

  11. The spirit of the rooney rule is nice and all, but at this point its broken. When the hiring is an open process like say the colts this season its not so bad. But if the colts werent accepting applications from all the qualified coaches regardless of race then is that a team yuo want to coach? But when teams like the raiders say “this is our guy” with gruden, whats the point in checking off the rooney rule box. No teams ever gonna decide on a coach then hire the rooney rule guy because he blew them away in the interview. Its more likely that a guy gets pissed and sues them for discrimination saying “you guys didnt even give me a chance, you wanted the white guy the whole time”

  12. Amy Trask is mad because she’s on the outside looking in. She is by no means a favorite of Mark Davis or Jon Gruden. She has a bone to pick with these guys. The Raiders will interview a minority, and they will be in compliance with the Rooney Rule. They might even interview super bowl winning coach Jon Gruden. If a minority candidate has a better resume than the super bowl winner, the Raiders will consider him/her. Nobody wants the Raiders to hire a minority with a bad resume instead of a super bowl winning coach, right? But you never know with the Raiders. They have always broken new ground with hiring people other than white males. They should even change the name of the rule to the Raiders Rule since the Raiders have the best track record of hiring minorities. Amy is a smart gal. She’ll get a job somewhere.

  13. Get over it……….they hire who they want. If that person happens to be a white male, why is that a problem? Could any sane person argue that Jon Gruden is not the MOST QUALIFIED person available?
    Oh Wow……a team actually made a sham interview to comply with the Rooney Rule. Isn’t that just what the rule forces them to do?
    And yet still, the SJW’s are not happy.
    Get over it…..there are plenty of minority coaches out there. and lately, they have been hired for some very high profile NFL jobs, including several in the NFL front office.
    So just like the kneeling, what will satisfy you? The ones who constantly see injustice where none exists.

  14. Morality and Ethics cannot be legislated for change.
    Morality and Ehtics can be legislated for punishment.

    Yet year after year, decade after decade both sides of the aisle try their hardest to write laws that create Change. In the end it merely one person a Crutch and another a Fine.

    I do not consider that Progress.

  15. I would rather interview thinking I had a remote chance….. than be intentionally made a fool wasting my time on a job I was never intended to have. All in order to pacify an antiquated rule.

  16. Oakland should reject corruption of the hiring process (not to mention spare a non-candidate a fake interview), say it loudly and publicly, and then fight the NFL all the way to the Supreme Court to kill the Rooney Rule.

  17. The Rooney rule is a mockery, It would be embarrassing to be forced to interview a guy just because he had a different skin color.
    Content of character, not skin color. IF a guy is a perfect candidate, he’ll get hired, color has nothing to do with winning, its mind and heart.
    Political correctness is a cancer.

  18. I think the Rooney Rule is probably a good thing and also the Raiders aren’t doing anything wrong with Gruden all but signed. An interview can be worthwhile to give a candidate exposure and practice on how to prepare. It is also worthwhile for the team as they may have their minds changed, just as the Steelers did in hiring Tomlin over Grimm,and also for a different or future job.

    It can also be similar to a team interviewing a college player that everyone knows they will have no chance of drafting. The idea is you never know what might happen in the draft process and then also if the player becomes available years later as a free agent you have a better read on who he is.

  19. I am all for racial equality. I believe the right person would get the job no matter what color they are. Any team would hire a man from Mars if it got them a ring.

  20. The only positive, which can be argued that the negatives far outweigh it, is that it does give minority candidates a chance to interview and maybe change some minds and opinions of those making the team decisions down the road.
    That said, they could also achieve similar cultivating of new thoughts and ideas by interviewing the quality control coaches or water boys.

  21. The rule is stupid. They should not be forced to hold a “sham” interview to comply. If they know who they want, they should hire them, not play games nor be subject to a fine for not complying.

  22. I just don’t get this any more. NFL football teams are a business. Bottom line. Where else in America does a company have to comply with these types of rules when the sole purpose is to make money and win championships? Google? Ford? American Airlines? Walmart? Any of these companies have to comply with rules like these?
    If the leadership of the team believes they have identified a candidate that will help them achieve their sole purpose of existence then how can anyone ask them to deviate from their plan?
    They are the owners of the business?!?!?
    I understand the spirit of the rule but it no longer makes sense. Minorities have had a dramatic increase in opportunities since this rules inception.
    Time to move on and get back to a meritocracy. Everyone should earn their way.

  23. It’s a stupid rule! If I want “that guy” , then I am going to get him. You are just wasting peoples time with this farce of a “diversity” rule.

  24. So what if no black candidate applies now because it’s a pity interview required by the league? Does Oakland have to wait for a black candidate before proceeding with a hire? That might cause them to strongly encourage (aka: force) one of their current coaches to interview.

  25. An interview for a top job is valuable experience for a young coach. Even if you have zero chance you should come away with insight as to what to expect next time. If you impress maybe your resume gets passed around.

    At the very least, they fly you out put you up in a nice hotel for a night and put dinner in you.

    If the candidate takes the interview seriously, prepares and puts together an impressive presentation, it can’t hurt them in the future.

  26. ALL teams should comply with the Rooney Rule. But if you have a former, legendary (for whatever reason) head coach wanting to come back and coach again, people should be happy and stop all this criticism.

  27. A team with a black GM needs to interview a minority for the HC position? That doesn’t sound a little bit strange? Al Davis had nothing to do with the McKenzie hire, that was Mark Davis.

    Maybe a team with a minority in a position higher than HC could be Rooney rule exempt?

  28. I believe the rule should be amended, so that if you CURRENTLY have a minority coach or general manager, then you don’t have to abide by the rule to hire the opposite position. For example, in the case of the Raiders; because they have a minority GM, they would not have to comply in the hiring of a coach.

  29. I’d agree. If the Raiders don’the at least interview an Art Shell, then Gruden should be spanked right out of the gate–loss of a 1st round pick would send a clear message.

  30. The real solution isn’t the Rooney Rule, but instead a program that gives minorities coaching opportunities so there is a larger candidate hiring pool (I think the NFL does this). Having said that, Trask is right – the rule still stands, so the Raiders either need to follow the rule or fess up and pay the fine.

  31. This outdated rule may have been a good idea when it was instituted, but after all the minorities that have been, and still are, in key NFL positions, it’s just no longer needed. And anyway, if a team wants to hire a certain person, they’re going to hire him no matter how many candidates they’re forced to interview. It’s a rule that can only be enforced in theory, not in actual results. I’m fairly confident no team has ever hired someone they didn’t really want just to placate the Rooney Rule.

  32. The spirit of the rule has good intentions. Some of you should know facts before you comment. The Rule NEVER said, suggested or insinuated that you HIRE anyone. It simply requires you to interview in a league where nepotism and the GOB network is prevalent. Look around the NFLs coaching staffs. There are people in front offices and coaching staffs that get hired simply because of who they’re connected to. Or because of who their father is. Look at the Kubiaks, Grigson’s, Weidl’s, Donahoe’s, Belichicks, Babich’s, William’s, Irsay’s (all of his son in laws are in the scouting department)

    Ideally, wed all love a place where the most qualified person gets the job. Unfortunately, thats rarely the case. Ironically, the people that have the most problem with the Rule itself are apart of the same demographic that the Rule doesn’t negatively affect.

  33. Interviewing someone based on race for the sake of saying you did so is perverse, not diverse. All this PC crap needs to stop.

    If we’re really concerned about diversity, why not have a Peyton Hillis rule, where all teams have to have a white running back in for a workout before they can sign the back they want?

  34. Rooney, shmoomey. Get rid of this stupid rule already!

    However, if you REALLY believe in the Rooney rule, interview Hispanics, Asians, Latins, Norwegians, Australians, Polynesians, Maoris, etc.

  35. @drunkraider says:
    there is to much money involved for the nfl to need this rule. the teams are going to hire who they think is going to win them games, because winning games = money.

    just look at the players, most of the players are ” minorities ” and they make a ton more money than coaches do. and there is no ” rooney rule ” for that.
    ============================================================================================
    You certainly must be drunk to equate the opportunity to play in the NFL with the opportunity to coach in the NFL. There’s the combine, there’s the game film, there’s scouting, there are pro-days…all avenues for candidates to earn an NFL contract. Maybe the same process should be implemented for coaches and front office positions! Prior to the Rooney Rule, there was a reason that Art Shell and Tom Flores were the only minority coaches.

  36. So the Raiders can’t hire who they want because he’s white but if he was black it would totally be cool? This stuff has gotten so far out of hand.

  37. thrifty says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    But if a black candidate was the first choice then it would be ok with NOT interviewing anyone else, right?

    Reverse racism. Racism of ANY kind is NOT ok.

    ———————————————————————-

    You must not understand. It’s not racism (or “reverse racism”) to counteract the imbalance that racism is causing in the first place. It’s funny how people are totally fine benefiting from an unfair advantage, but as soon as you try to level the playing field….they feel they’re being cheated lol

  38. What gets said and liked in these comments sections makes me re-consider whether “NFL Fan” is a group I want to belong to.

    Lot’s of knuckle-dragging in this thread. From people who are too dim to recognize their bloodied fingers.

  39. I understand why people think this is a sham BUT speaking as a minority, and someone that works in corporate HR, I would volunteer myself to interview for every one of those coaching jobs. Exposure and experience counts for something. Its much different interviewing in front of a damn mirror then it is presenting a well thought out presentation of your ideas to an NFL owner/exec and GM. Gaining feedback in my opinion is valuable and meeting people face to face and networking might give them a head coaching job or recommendation somewhere down the line. I don’t think GM’s and offensive coordinators are just choppin it up and hanging out together in the offseason so when else would anybody, not just minorities, but literally anybody get that type of face to face time.

  40. “Rooney Rule”. Forgot to include that one in my list of reasons why I’m not renewing my season tickets last year. Will revise my list and send the updated version to my team owner.

  41. I think it is time for either this rule to be done with or for the media to stop making it out to be a crime against humanity when a team is forced to go through the motions to comply.

  42. Rhodes, Edwards, Shell, Hue Jackson, Dennis Green, Lovie Smith, Romeo Crennel, Tony Dungy, Terry Robiskie, Mike Singletary, and Jim Caldwell have all been fired.

    Tell me again the flat out racist lie that black coaches are harder to fire?

  43. show me a job at that level in any field or organization that isn’t already filled by the time the hiring staff does it’s “due diligence” interview.

  44. “the rule was created in part to avoid situations like this, where the team essentially hires the replacement before firing the current coach.”
    Was it though? I thought it was created to mandate at least a minimum (nominal?) level of exposure to minority candidates during the hunt for a new coach. I didn’t know about the part where it’s intended to prevent pre-selections. This scenario is certainly not typical so I don’t see why there needs to be a provision to prevent it.

  45. I’m not generally one to defend Son-of-Al but I think that Trask is full of it. Trask was basically a sycophant of Al’s (unlike Flores and Shell who were excellent hires) and she had absolutely no association with Al Davis’ most successful years (1963 to 1985) since she came on board after this period and was a key figure in a bad segment of Raiders history (which continues to this day).

  46. There has been no announcement yet by the Raiders on their hc search. Sure, it will probably be Gruden but I am sure Oakland will be in full compliance with this discriminatory Rooney Rule. Give me a break and dump RR.

  47. thetruth619 says:
    January 3, 2018 at 12:38 am
    thrifty says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    But if a black candidate was the first choice then it would be ok with NOT interviewing anyone else, right?

    Reverse racism. Racism of ANY kind is NOT ok.

    ———————————————————————-

    You must not understand. It’s not racism (or “reverse racism”) to counteract the imbalance that racism is causing in the first place. It’s funny how people are totally fine benefiting from an unfair advantage, but as soon as you try to level the playing field….they feel they’re being cheated lol
    =
    A playing field cannot be leveled by tilting it in the other direction. That creates a situation where the employee feels both invincible and condescended to simultaneously. All this does is increase the tension between races.

  48. If a team wants a certain man (black,white,yellow,red), why waste someone else’s time to comply with an outdated (and un-needed) formality?

  49. vaphinfan says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    I understand the Rooney Rule and a but damn if your a minority that gets hired……much harder to get fired. Right Joesph,Bowles, Lewis

    —-

    Adam Gase, Dirk Koetter, John Harbaugh, Bill O’Brien….

    Retention isn’t a race issue. Sometimes people think continuity is better than making a change in a year or perhaps that there is no QB on the roster with which to build a winning program, etc. Can’t fire everybody for a bad record.

  50. Harder for black coaches to get fired?
    Dungy, Winning record multiple playoff. Fired.
    Smith, multiple playoffs, Super bowl appearance winning record. Fired.
    Caldwell winning record multiple SB appearance. Fired.
    Caldwell winning record multiple playoffs fired again.
    Jackson, lost starting QB starting RB for season first raiders coach non-record since Gruden. Fired

  51. The “Rooney Rule” is INHERENTLY racist.

    These type of SJW policies only cause division and create racism. Judge people on their ability not their skin color.

  52. Newsflash no owner is going to care if the coach is black white or florescent green if they know that coach can win you a Superbowl.. This is the dumbest rule, 99% of NFL players are black. Go look at anyones coaching staff right now, I bet it would be about 50/50 anyways. Sorry. NOBODY WANTS JIM CALDWELL

  53. blknyellow says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm
    vaphinfan says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    I understand the Rooney Rule and a but damn if your a minority that gets hired……much harder to get fired. Right Joesph,Bowles, Lewis

    ____

    I call that progress.

    ——————

    So you call keeping inept coaches with losing records in their position just because they are black progress?

  54. Seems every time the Raiders hire Gruden somehow a racial angle gets introduced. In 1998 some were upset that a 33 year old got the job instead of Ray Rhodes, suggesting it was racism. As if Al Davis would not hire a minority if he thought he was the best person for the job!

    I understand why the rule exists but everyone and their mother knows the Raiders have tried for years to convince Gruden to come back because he’s the best choice to lead the Raiders, and that should be good enough in this case.

  55. The Rooney rule is in place for one reason, to make these narcissistic team owner’s feel good about themselves and their hiring practices. It’s a sham and nothing more.

  56. Funny to me that a league ownership comprised of 28 white men, 3 white women who are heirs to white men, and 1 Shahid Kahn would mandate diversity at any level.

  57. The “Rooney Rule” is INHERENTLY racist.

    These type of SJW policies only cause division and create racism. Judge people on their ability not their skin color.
    ———————————————————————————————

    These policies excise because generally speaking, America historically and currently has NOT been great at judging people by their ability versus their skin color. There is a reason why Caucasian owners voted to approve the Rooney Rule, because like many businesses today, they acknowledged their was prejudice in their hiring pracitices.

    It’s only been 10 years or so since minorities universally were considered “smart enough” to play QB. Biases, prejudice, and racism still exist, hence the Rooney Rule. It wasn’t meant to make everyone happy. It was created to equal the plying field.

  58. thrifty says:
    January 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    But if a black candidate was the first choice then it would be ok with NOT interviewing anyone else, right?

    Reverse racism. Racism of ANY kind is NOT ok.

    ———————————————————————-

    You must not understand. It’s not racism (or “reverse racism”) to counteract the imbalance that racism is causing in the first place. It’s funny how people are totally fine benefiting from an unfair advantage, but as soon as you try to level the playing field….they feel they’re being cheated lol

    ——————————-
    So, to get this straight you are saying that minorities haven’t been hired at a higher rate is due to racism? So, every GM that chooses a white candidate over a minority is a racist?
    That’s one hell of an accusation. And in true form when it comes to most claims of racism—-completely unfounded and a load of garbage.

  59. Common sense would have been to just conduct all your interviews and THEN drop the bombshell news that Gruden is back in the game. But no, by all means, choose the OUTRAGE route.

  60. They should interview Mike Tirico or Greg Gumbel for a head coaching job. Imagine the controversy around whether they count as a minority interview. Oh man, it’d be better than 23andMe!

  61. 40 years ago my buddies and I went to school in Boston to study for the RMV (now defunct) exam. My best friend’s father was an RMV inspector so you might expect there would be some legacy consideration. That and we both scored in the high 90’s. When we arrived to take the exam, someone who knew my pal’s dad recognized him and asked why we were there. When we told him he chuckled and said we had wasted out time and money taking the course and the test since after minorities and veterans we wouldn’t have a prayer. Now I’m good with vets, of any race, getting a bit of assistance but to be told that whites need not apply made me understand how this must have felt to blacks, Irish or anyone who had been held back. OTOH, I don’t get how putting qualified people in the back of the line fixes anything. We can’t undo the past but we can be fair moving forward.

  62. It’s only been 10 years or so since minorities universally were considered “smart enough” to play QB. Biases, prejudice, and racism still exist, hence the Rooney Rule. It wasn’t meant to make everyone happy. It was created to equal the plying field.

    Universally? Good thing you weren’t hyperbolic! Both Warren Moon and Randall Cunningham both retired way more than 10 years ago. Both were superior players. Going back prior to 10 years ago, among others, Vick, Jeff Blake, Rodney Peete, Doug Williams, Vince Evans were all drafted so someone back then thought they were “smart enough”.

  63. Pro sports in America are without a doubt the number one industry that gives minorities opportunities to work hard and make millions. The NFL is not responsible for all the discrimination and racism that exists in America, and every other country around the globe. The Rooney Rule is well intended, and I love the fact that the NFL is very conscious of its leadership position. There are a lot of people watching. When you’re going to start interviewing offensive coordinators and former head coaches, you should cast a wide net. An unproven black offensive coordinator is just as good a prospect as an unproven white coordinator. Jon Gruden is a different story. He’s a proven super bowl winning coach. Any business in the word would hire a guy with Gruden’s resume, regardless of the color of his skin. It would be a crying shame if a winner like Gruden was denied an opportunity to coach based on the color of his skin. If Tony Dungy wanted to coach, he’d have a job tomorrow too. I realize white guys have a huge advantage over anyone else when it comes to getting cushy jobs, but the NFL is nowhere near the top of the list of industries that discriminate against minorities. In fact, they’re at the extreme other end of that list. The great thing about it is they realize there’s still work to do.

  64. Rooney Rule needs to be tweaked to only include teams that are actually having open interviews because the rule as is slaps minority candidates in the face since they’re being forced to play the role of a job candidate for a job someone else already has. You aren’t learning the interview process (what they claim is the reason they want candidates taking fake interviews) if the people interviewing you are just going through the motions and probably haven’t even looked into your background to ask real questions.

    There are only so many “must have” coaching and GM candidates out there so when those jobs are filled then the Rooney Rule should be applied. The rule hasn’t given more coaches opportunities, it’s just added minority candidates to the small circle of coaches that will be retread to several teams because new candidates are being interviewed and not hired. The “hot” coaches being interviewed right now include guys who failed as coaches of the Browns, Broncos and Lions. That should tell you how much effort is being put into coaching searches even with the rule.

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