Rooney Rule goes global, may be adopted in English soccer

Dan Rooney is a hot topic of conversation in the news in Europe this week, and it has nothing to do with his position as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

Instead, Rooney’s name is being mentioned in places like the BBC and the Guardian newspaper because there’s an ongoing debate about whether English soccer needs to adopt its own version of the Rooney Rule.

When Rooney was running the Steelers, he persuaded his fellow owners to adopt the rule that now bears his name, mandating that at least one minority candidate has to be interviewed for every head-coaching vacancy. The rule is widely viewed as a successful endeavor to expand opportunities for minority coaching candidates, and now there are growing calls for English soccer to model its own rules on the hiring of coaches after the Rooney Rule.

Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers’ Association told the BBC that he has studied the Rooney Rule and admires the NFL for adopting it.

“We have got to learn from other sports and other countries, and we saw how many top quality Black gridiron players there were and how few Black coaches,” Taylor said. “But they came in with that rule and it’s made a difference, and now it’s become assimilated into the culture of the NFL.”

The Guardian reports that, with only two black managers out of 92 clubs in English soccer, there’s growing fan support for the Rooney Rule even though “British culture tends to oppose any type of compulsion.”

Although it was controversial when implemented, almost everyone associated with the NFL agrees that the Rooney Rule has been a success. It’s no surprise that the rule is now expanding, even across the Atlantic.

19 responses to “Rooney Rule goes global, may be adopted in English soccer

  1. in otherwords:
    The Illumaniti’s influence grows stronger.

    2012 people….2012….2012 (fades away into the sky like Lion King’s dad) 20….12…

  2. I thought every team saw this as a worthless rule which leads to interviews with “minorities” knowing they’re not the first pick anyway.

  3. For how multi-cultural soccer is in terms of players, it is poorly represented in the management aspect. The top background of coaches are predominately white males from Italy, England, Netherlands and Spain. Now with all the countries in the world (the coach does not have to be of the nationality of the country he is managing) plus all the clubs for each individual country, you would think there would be more.

    Then again, there is still alot of racism on the pitch and in the stands so why would it change at the top. It is extremely evident in the Balkan states.. For a game that has come so far since the beginning and has had such a great history, it still has alot to learn and so much more it can do to ensure equality.

  4. They’re token interviews most of the time however one of those token interviews led to the Steelers hiring Tomlin over Wisenhunt. It’s not perfect and can be offensive to some “token” candidates but in the end, it is a good rule.

  5. This PC crap has got to stop. Does anyone seriously believe that higher-ups really overlook candidates these days based on color? And what happens in these “token” interviews? Did Rooney really think that some good ol boy owner would realize “Damn, this black guy CAN read!” in a forced interview? Ridiculous. These people are trying to fill a high ranking job in a billion dollar franchise (or close enough to it) in the NFL and EPL/other soccer leagues. I highly doubt that race will be a factor in 2011. Now, if we’re talking about college football where a ton of schools are funded by a bunch of close minded old white guys…you might have something there. However, you look at it, it’s still affirmative action and there’s a reason it’s unconstitutional in the US. Time should flatten these problems out as more non-whites graduate college and become donating alumni. Sorry, mini rant over.

  6. “bukes111 says: Mar 31, 2011 11:24 AM

    They’re token interviews most of the time however one of those token interviews led to the Steelers hiring Tomlin over Wisenhunt. It’s not perfect and can be offensive to some “token” candidates but in the end, it is a good rule.”

    Lol, they wanted Tomlin from the get go. They just interviews Wisenhunt to satisfy the Anti-Rooney rule, AKA, rational thought.

  7. As a Black guy, I like this rule, but I hate when teams like Dallas skirted the rule like they did last year with Ray Sherman. Stevie Wonder could see that Sharman had no chance to get the job. It was a sham interview and even though the world knew it, the Cowboys were still allowed to do it.

    The Rooney rule was brilliant, and allows a possible surprise candidate come in and show that they are really better qualified and should get the job. It happened with the Steelers. Mike Tomlin came in almost out of nowhere. He was the defensive coordinator of a 6-10 Vikings team, yet he got an interview, wowed the team and got the job.

    An opportunity. We should be past the point where this should be necessary, but it still is necessary. Like p4ever said, it is a good starting point, but it does need to be improved. I long to live in a world where Blacks and Whites are truly seen as equals and judged as such.

  8. and the pft commenters put on their robe and grand wizard hats.
    If there was anyone being forced to hire instead of interview there would really be a problem.

  9. @parasonic …

    You highly doubt that race would be a factor in 2011?!?!? ROFL … honey, why do you think more than half the nation believes a Christian man born in Hawaii and raised by a white mother and grandparents–whose grandfather fought with Patton in WWII–is really a Muslim plant born in Africa? His birth certificate and the birth announcement that appeared in the Hawaii papers when he was born have been produced umpteen times but nothing is going to trump the black skin and the funny name 😆

    The owners set up the committee that devised the Rooney Rule because they, as a collective, wanted to address this issue. And they chose to adopt the rule–Dan didn’t shove it down their throats. It does not require them to hire anyone they don’t want to hire. It simply requires them to consider minority candidates who might not otherwise have gotten a look-see. So far, I haven’t heard any owners complaining. The only people complaining are the ones posting here.

    If that rule is why we wound up with Mike Tomlin as our head coach, then Hot Dog! I love the Rooney Rule!

  10. They will get around it just like most teams do when they give a cursory interview with a black coach when they’ve already decided which white coach will be hired.

  11. American readers of this column might not quite understand what sort of ‘news’paper The Guardian is. It’s basically a rag for the politically correct losers, public sector workers who couldn’t get a real job and anti-semites. And this would be a rare article that sees America doing something it sees as a good thing. Normally it thinks you guys are evil.

  12. Nothing wrong with hiring or promoting the less qualified as long as your competition is doing it.

  13. Deb-

    I believe Obama was born American but some of your points are weak.

    Please show me this birth certificate that has been shared umpteen times.

    The LA Times noted that Obama was registered as a child in school as a child as a Muslim on the application.

    You don’t think that fact that his father was a Kenyan citizen who worked for the Kenyan government might not play a part in peoples’ views?

    The Steelers were hiring him regardless. The rule itself did not play a part.

    So giving an interview bases on race is ok? Seems racist to me.

    The Rooney Rule is racist and anti-choice.

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