Goodell defends NFL’s finding that Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is standing by the Raiders, and by the Rooney Rule, despite questions being raised in the wake of Jon Gruden’s hiring about whether the league let the team get away with violating the spirit of the rule.

Asked about the Raiders first agreeing to hire Gruden and then interviewing minority candidates only after that, Goodell suggested that’s not what happened — even though Raiders owner Mark Davis has acknowledged that’s what happened.

“I think we have a disagreement on the facts,” Goodell said. (He did not explain what was factually inaccurate about the premise of the question.)

Goodell said the league looked into the way the Raiders went about hiring Gruden and also interviewing two African-Americans, Bobby Johnson and Tee Martin, and found that the Raiders were in full compliance with the rule.

“There was a full investigation of that from our staff,” Goodell said.

The NFL adopted the Rooney Rule 15 years ago and has only found a team in violation once, when the Detroit Lions did not interview a minority candidate before hiring Steve Mariucci in 2003. If the Raiders were in full compliance this year, even though they knew they were hiring Gruden before they fired Jack Del Rio, it’s hard to believe the NFL will ever find any team in violation.

30 responses to “Goodell defends NFL’s finding that Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

  1. “There was a full investigation of that from our staff,” Goodell said.

    Whatever happened to the NFL’s investigation into the Colts refusing to disclose Andrew Luck’s broken ribs and lacerated kidney?

    Whatever happened to all the PSI data they collected in the 2016 season?

  2. I know that I feel better now that Roger has assured us that it is all legit. The same way I felt better when he explained why he destroyed the spygate tapes.

  3. “…has only found a team in violation once, when the Detroit Lions”

    “…it’s hard to believe the NFL will ever find any team in violation.”

    Unless you’re the Detroit Lions, obviously.

  4. Geeez. Everybody and their brother knows the Raiders didnt follow the Rooney rule. But also I have yet to see anyone have a problem with what took place. Pretty much anyone I have heard from or read here has said what the Raiders did (have a specific individual they wanted to targetfor a specific role) is common in the business world and as it does not in any way constiture discrimination its considered fine.

    The NFL looks silly trying to deny it. They would have been better saying something like I just did. “The league has found that the Raiders did not follow the Rooney rule but since the circumstances are that there was no actual discrimination being practiced we do not feel any sanctions are warranted” something like that.

  5. The Rooney rule means nothing and never did.
    Any team can always interview people to comply
    knowing they are going to hire someone else.

  6. So Goodell is now a flat out liar? He lied about this and he lied about not wanting political ads in the Super Bowl after having them last year.
    Personally, I don’t agree with the Rooney Rule. I get it but the game has changed. As more black players played, more got into coaching. There is generally a pecking order. You start as an assistant or position coach, move up to a senior level coach or become a coordinator and then a HC. Most, not all, HCs were coordinators.
    If you are doing an open search then I’m all for it but if you have a particular coach in mind or a succession plan then no I don’t agree with it. I think the Rooney Rule should be encouraged/forced for the coaching staff as a whole not just the HC when there is an open search. It’s a joke when you just interview someone that you have no intention of hiring just to fulfill a rule. Remember when Dennis Green said something like use me for your interview – you can wine and dine me for a weekend and then got hire whoever you want?

  7. I’m a Democrat, but what these liberals that push the rule are failing to realize is that the NFL is one of the very few institutions in America where racism just doesn’t seem to exist. 70% of the players are black, we have black GM’s, head coaches, DC’s, OC’s, etc. By pushing this rule that does nothing but highlight a person’s skin color, you’re actually guilty of he very thing you are trying to avoid. You’re basically saying “here, let the white man help you, because we think you need it”.

  8. This is comical – the owner of the team that did the hiring states that he didn’t follow the Rooney rule and the commissioner comes out and says that he did…

    The Raiders circumvented the rule and should be punished. I have no idea why the NFL is allowing this to stand – if they’re going to take this stand, just do away with the rule and make it an even playing field for ALL of the teams.

    It shouldn’t matter that the team “really wanted” coach X – the rules in place and should be followed, but if not, there should be a penalty. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  9. well lets start ranking the teams that have poor performance in advancing the minority leadership issue, raiders perform well on that list.

  10. I didn’t agree with replacing Del Rio with Gruden which I view as a publicity stunt. But as much as I think the Davis family have been terrible owners over the last 20+ years, their record (including Son-of-Al’s) of hiring minorities to HC and management positions makes accusations that they violated the Rooney Rule ridiculous. The Raiders in fact didn’t need any type of “Rooney Rule” to make those pioneering hires in the first place.

  11. gridironczar says:
    January 31, 2018 at 2:59 pm
    So Goodell is now a flat out liar? He lied about this and he lied about not wanting political ads in the Super Bowl after having them last year.

    It’s ads in the Super Bowl PROGRAM he is preventing, not the broadcast.

  12. Guess WEEI top morning show exposed the sports media. Make up stuff because people love it.

    General manager Reggie McKenzie said he interviewed tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin for the head coaching job before the club decided to hire Gruden.

  13. Anyone know that Jon Grudens last games as a coach (Buccaneers) was a 31-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The QB that beat Gruden that day was none other than Jamarcus Russell. Was it that game and losing to JaWalruss that got Gruden fired? When Gruden coached against the Raiders and didn’t know the Raiders playbook he lost both of those games. Hoping he does well, just thought it was a funny fact.

  14. Amy Trask former CEO of Oakland Raiders
    Tom Flores Head Coach
    Art Shell Head Coach

    Not a Raiders fan, but their actions speak for themselves. This organization has been the front runner in diversity.

    I see no problem with wanting Gruden and hiring him. It’s like a 90’s romantic movie,

  15. Goodell is right. A rule is a rule. You can’t change the rule after the fact. Gruden was hired after the minority interviews. That’s a fact. If you talk to any coach who’s been in the business long enough, they’ll all tell you about the jobs that they were “promised” but never happened. Talk is cheap. Signed contracts are valid. Look at the date on Gruden’s contract, and look at the dates of the minority interviews. The NFL can’t break it’s own rules. The Raiders complied 100% with the rule. They also complied with the spirit of the rule which is to make sure the right person gets hired regardless of race, and to make sure minorities get the exposure of an interview. So the Raiders complied with the Rooney Rule and also the U.S. Constitution. So whether you’re a legal scholar, a flag waiver, a civil rights leader, or a football fan, the Raiders did the right thing. Now just win baby!

  16. Goodell says there is nothing to see here and move on. Has Goodell’s office ever had an investigation that they haven’t screwed up.

  17. Well if Roger says that there was a full investigation, that should be enough for us. His word is gold.

  18. Some teams will hire who they want regardless of how many other candidates (minority or otherwise) they interview to demonstrate to the fan base that they did their “due diligence.” In those cases, the interviews of minority candidates under the Rooney Rule are no more a farce than interviews of other white candidates who won’t get the job. Given the disparity between the percentage of minority players vs. minority coaches in the league, I don’t have a problem with the Rooney Rule. It can only help more minority coaches get a fair shot at a job by (1) getting an interview they may not have otherwise gotten, or (2) giving them a valuable “practice” interview for when they actually are in consideration.

  19. Rog is bending over backwards for the Raiders. He knows that if the Raiders cant make it in Vegas, they will likely go under. The Raiders have never been a profitably run franchise. See Davis family.

  20. ihavepriors says:
    February 2, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Rog is bending over backwards for the Raiders. He knows that if the Raiders cant make it in Vegas, they will likely go under. The Raiders have never been a profitably run franchise. See Davis family.

    ======================

    Goodell and the other owners will bail out Son-of-Al if the he can’t hack it in Vegas. If the Vegas situation explodes in Son-of-Al’s face then the Raiders will NOT go under, but Son-of-Al will be forced to sell the team in order to pay off the creditors (and if he declares bankruptcy the team will still be sold). And considering the mismanagement of the Raiders by the Davis family for the last 20+ years, that could be the best thing for the team, if an owner with deep pockets who hires the right people takes over. In fact with a new owner, the team may even return to Oakland with a new stadium (largely financed by the new ownership).

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