Fritz Pollard Alliance advises minority candidates to pass on Dolphins job

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As the Miami Dolphins prepare to start the process of interviewing for the replacement to G.M. Jeff Ireland, the organization responsible for promoting minority hiring in football has a word of caution for its constituency:  Don’t do it.

According to the Miami Herald, the Fritz Pollard Alliance recommends that minority candidates decline to interview for the General Manager position unless it will be a “real” G.M. position.

“If it’s just going to be a personnel guy, my opinion is our guys don’t need to be going in and taking those interviews, ” John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, told the Herald.  “I don’t know if the new people [owner Stephen] Ross is interviewing are going to be true general managers.”

Wooten specifically is concerned that the next G.M. will essentially have the job that was offered to Ireland before he left the team — a position without ultimate authority.

“[You’re] now going to have the same position that you’re offering Jeff Ireland?” Wooten said. “Then our guys need to stay where they are.”

While we agree that no candidates should interview for a job without full information about what the duties will be, the idea of rejecting a General Manager’s job because it amounts to what’s known in league circles as “G.M. Light” would be a mistake.

For most if not all of the candidates linked to the Miami job, “G.M. Light” would be a promotion.  Basically, “G.M. Light” is better than no G.M. at all.

Under Wooten’s theory, minority candidates also should pass on the chance to become “G.M. Light” in Tampa, where coach Lovie Smith reportedly has control over the roster.  Throughout the league, teams have General Managers and Vice Presidents of Player Personnel who don’t have final say over the roster.  From the Patriots to the Steelers (sort of) to the Chiefs to the Eagles to the Rams, plenty of General Managers don’t hold full and complete control.

If Wooten is going to apply that standard in Miami, then Wooten needs to apply that standard to every other team that uses a “G.M. Light.”

Regardless, the Dolphins have become the target.  And if no minority candidates will interview for the job, the Dolphins won’t be able to comply with the Rooney Rule, which requires that at least one minority candidate be interviewed for every vacant coach and G.M. position.

UPDATE 8:25 p.m. ET:  Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has issued a statement explaining that the G.M. position will entail full control over the roster.

78 responses to “Fritz Pollard Alliance advises minority candidates to pass on Dolphins job

  1. To me this sounds like he is saying his “guys” can’t take an interview and decide if it’s a good position based on their own interview and skills. Instead of going in there and trying to convince Ross that you are the person for the job the better motto is to not even try – it might be too hard for you!

    There’s a difference between trying to help people and trying to baby them. If they are truly good enough to be a GM of a NFL team, then they should be able to see if it’s a bad situation for themselves.

  2. Miami had seemingly fulfilled the requirement with the interview of previously unkown candidate D’Leroy Momobasa-Kwa’Zaludi, but in a moment of nervousness before the camera he wiped his forehead and smudged the blackface makeup.

  3. They can have their opinion, but they aren’t going to dissuade all the minority candidates from very much wanting this job. Any that pass on the interview aren’t what the Dolphins are looking for. They only want somebody who does want the job and is qualified. If somebody passes because of the advice of this Alliance, then they can remain aligned at their present lesser job instead of having this highly coveted and better position, whatever it exactly is.

    Also they already have a white guy that is Assistant General Manager. So if they bring in a minority candidate to take the higher ladder job over the white candidate that has already spent time with the team, well that sounds like a lot of credibility that this is a bona fide serious job of importance. What’s not authentic about that?

  4. And yet even more proof that the Rooney rule is a joke. The best way to keep racism alive is by making special rules that apply only to certain races.

  5. Unbelievable. My advice would be not to take this “alliance’s” advice.

    Why am I not surprised we have reached the point that a group advocating for race based hiring to combat perceived race based hiring is advising against trying to be hired for a particular job because it may be somewhat watered down.

    Welcome to bizarro world.

  6. .

    Why is it that all teams must interview a minority candidate for coaching / GM positions, but Tampa could hire Lovie Smith without talking to any non minority candidates. It seems un-American.


  7. As long as Miami tries to interview minority candidates in find it hard to believe they could be held culpable to that racist rule. If the advocates for minority hires are telling minorities NOT to interview then that is on them, not the Dolphins

  8. The set up to the “Dolphins don’t hire minorities” accusations down the road, because shakedown groups like the Fritz Pollard Alliance have an amazing ability to ignore history and facts when it suits their purposes.

  9. I love these organizations that speak for the color of a persons skin, can we ever get past this crap, The President of the United States is a person of color, Its 2014 enough already with the baiting.

  10. Who wouldn’t want this job? Jeff Ireland should have been fired years ago! Take the pay upgrade and sit back and be a “GM Light” for however long you can!

  11. stephen ross put everyone in this position when he said he was going to put a job ABOVE jeff ireland (if he didn’t resign).

    Ross said a couple of days ago that he wanted to hire someone to operate above general manager.

    So…. the Fritz Pollard Alliance stepped in since the position of general manager would not be a real general manager.

  12. Please put those peoples names on a list so we know for future refrence who is not interested so we know not to waste their time.

  13. Who is Fritz Pollard? I don’t suppose you might have thought of using a search engine to find out, if you didn’t know something…

  14. So it’s bad for white people to segregate minorities right? I think we all can agree on that. But why is it ok for minorities to impose self segregation and continue to keep themselves in a separate category? Like the earlier poster said its 2014, we have a black president (well half black anyways). It’s time for affirmative action to end, if someone is being rascist, it will be pretty easy to figure out.

  15. Merely hearsay by a group that makes their living by hating and baiting. Have they talked to Stephen Ross and confirmed that this is indeed a GM Lite or GM in training job? I doubt it.

  16. But it may not be…. Look at Bruce Allen of the Redskins. He was hired with Mike Shanahan and Mike held all the authority. Then Mike gets fired and Bruce Allen jumps up and takes control of personnel. BAM… from GM Lite to Full GM

  17. I agree with Wooten’s OPINION (which is what he called it).

    If one takes the position with the Phins or Bucs and the team ultimately fails, it will be because of a coach the GM didn’t choose and players he didn’t want to sign or draft.

    The GM will be the fall guy, get fired, and probably never get another shot at the position (since the first attempt didn’t go so well).

    Then what does one do.. take a demotion with another team?

    If you want a long term career with potentially multiple GM positions, I think these stops are career killers as a first job.


  18. So if this is a “GM Lite” job and not a real job, then its not subjected to the Rooney Rule. Since that would only apply to real jobs, right?

    And since when is it OK to call people of race “our guys”?

    Sounds like the Fritz Pollard Alliance is a bunch of racist pigs…

  19. This is a flawed position on the surface, the bottom line is Ross has already chosen the coach that the newGM will be married to.

  20. The ultimate authority on who should have the ultimate decision on personnel whether it be coach or GM is the owner. The GM job description is what the owner says it is.

  21. SO sick of pandering to minorities. And then watch minority “alliances” demand even more. Time to get rid of affirmative action (racist), the Rooney Rule (completely demeaning) and pandering to every minority that whines about something “not being equal”. We’re NOT equal, folks. Some people are better looking than others. Some people are brighter than others. And some want things like the Rooney Rule.

  22. Rooney Rule: must interview minority (AA) with all coaching/gm vacancies.
    Fritz: Don’t interview “us” unless you hire us.

    What will the rule be called in 2050 when whites are the minorities? That’s right….there won’t be one.

  23. Someone wanted to know why Lovie Smith was hired without an interview for a white candidate?
    Welcome to the post-70s America.

    Double-standard is the fare.

  24. A lot of people are out of work right now. I had to take a “not so great” job because I was too. Not feeling any sympathy for anyone who thinks this one is beneath them, whatever their race

  25. Does Mr.Wooten know that we live in a free enterprise system and an owner can do as he pleases. Ross can define his position of need as he pleases. If the candidate does not want to evaluate talent only then don’t apply. Despite what John Wooten says Stephen Ross can define the duties, requirements and title as he pleases. It just might be that Ross became a Billionaire by thinking out of the box and there is nothing wrong with that. Candidates do not have to apply.

  26. As I mentioned in my post the other day about the Fritz Pollard Alliance (before it was censored by PFT and magically disappeared), that organization is a sham. A race-based organization whose stated goal is to promote the interests of people not based on their merits but based on their skin color (merits taking a distant second in the selection criteria). Now they’ve come out and poisoned the well for a job that as PFT pointed out would likely be a promotion for most of the people that would even be up for consideration. So any minority candidate that pursues this opportunity based on their own adult judgment and assessment of the situation will be cast in a negative light, courtesy of the FPA.

    There are about 11 other things wrong with this situation as well, but I’ll focus on the obvious: the FPA it positioning itself to act as a union, serving it’s own leadership at the expense of its members (and especially all non-members). Go against the grain, and you’ll cost yourself that “Recommended Candidate” status.

  27. An organization formed to look after the interests of white people would be called racist, but an organization that looks after the interests of African-Americans and then calls them “our guys”, as if they own them, is progressive? Um, okay. Whatever.

    Here’s a thought. Wouldn’t we all agree we have reached progress as a society when all of us guys can make our own dang decisions without any other guy telling us what we can or can’t do and then holding that against us when we choose to do something different?

  28. The Fritz Pollard Alliance has a bigger problem
    all of the black general managers who have currently been employed by their current teams have NEVER hired a black coach.

    Why is that there seem to be more newly hired black GM’s than there are newly hired black head coaches?

    I am not accusing of black GM’s of committing “black on black” crime, but it’s unfortunate that more black head coaches can’t get hired when more black GM’s are coming and staying more than ever before.

    Ozzie Newsome, Jerry Reese, Reggie McKenzie, Rick Smith, and Martin Mayhew all have jobs while the number of black head coaches is less than that.

    One would think that others would be okay if a black GM hired a black head coach, but I hope that people have an issue where it seems unfair that one still can’t aid regardless of how hard he tries.

  29. Scarface quotes aside its not that hard to find a black guy to interview for a job. Even if all the ones affiliated with the fpa follow their guidelines there are plenty other people without any NFL experience who would love to have on their resume that they interviewed for the GM position of the Miami Dolphins.

    Even if the league has a problem with them violating the spirit of the rule they would have a strong case in getting away with it anyway. Seeing that the FPA letter is on the internet for everyone to see. All they would have to do is show it to the league. It would probably be pretty hard for the NFL to argue against the actions the Dolphins had to make in response.

  30. In my opinion the GM should have control over who the Head Coach is first and foremost then the roster. If I was a GM that would be my #1 priority. Hiring my guy for Head Coach. From an owners standpoint it makes sense also. If not they will just be wasting time with Philben as HC until the GM hires his guy. Trust me all of the assistant coaches are going to know the writing is on the wall and the players will sense it and it won’t be a good season. Might as well blow it up and start from scratch! It’s not like they’ve been playoff contenders.

  31. How can a coach who gets a general manager job have any self-respect because he got the job because he is a minority, and not because he’s the best guy for the job, Mr Smith in Tampa doesn’t have that issue, he was hired because the owner wanted him, lots of pride there. Bill

  32. If Ireland did not have final authority of football decisions, why was he fired? The knock on Ireland was his ability to identify and sign talent. IF he did not have the authority to make those decisions then who did? If it was not Ireland, then who was it? I do not understand this guys issue.

  33. The paternalism shown by the Fritz Pollard Alliance is frankly staggering. At this time in history, paternalism is the most prevalent form of racism in the united states – and the only kind people can still get away with without widespread approbation and denunciation.

  34. I thought the purpose of the Fritz Pollard Alliance was to help minorities get jobs. Instead, they are telling minorities to make it harder for Miami to comply with the very rule they are supposedly helping the NFL uphold. Disgraceful.

  35. I hate to be taking Ross’ side on this, but he owns the friggen team.

    So I’ve got news for Wooten. ANY GM who takes the job will have full control over the roster.

    They just need to accept that the owner has full control over them, or they are welcome to leave.

    And ultimately, that’s the same deal that every coach or GM in the league has.

  36. I’ve said it before and I will say it again…

    There is no need for the Rooney Rule, it is not only insulting to have to say ” you guys are FORCED to interview a minority ie. black candidate”

    The NFL is all about winning, any owner would hire a purple person if he is the best candidate and can deliver even a single Lombardi trophy. Maybe they should instead focus on getting more minorities interested in coaching instead of forcing people to interview them like PC dictators.

  37. Just so we are all straight on this…

    You want teams to interview “your guys” by a mandatory rule, but then you can call “your guys” and tell them not to interview with any team you choose?

    Sounds fair. One more question: If Ross were African-American, would that change the advice you give?

  38. So, by law, these clubs have to interview minorities. But, this guy, is attempting to get minorities to avoid the job. Seems extremely counter-productive. Realistically…these guys have a chance at a few million bucks, or not having a few million bucks.

  39. So nobody really knows any of the names mentioned, and clearly nobody here has a clue on what racism is either yet everyone has an opinion.

  40. Racism comes in both colors, Mr. Wooten. I guess your time as failed Eagles exec didn’t teach you that. Fritz would not be proud.

  41. As a minority, I must disagree with Wooten and the FPA speaking and directing policies on behalf blacks and minoritys working in the NFL. People of all races must step out and research the opportunities available and make the finl decisions for themselves. If it fits their desires, then it’s a go. If it doesn’t then they can just move on. Having served in the military, there was talk of minorities never having the opportunity for advancement from being and enlist Soldier to becoming an officer. Well I sought and achieved the opportunity to move up the chain of command in my career and it’s worked out. Same has been done in my corporate and government career since. Wooten has set back NFL management careers for minorities 20 years with this dumb recommendation.

  42. The Rooney Rule is another liberal idea of taking a problem and making it worse and more complicated…

  43. “Stay away from the same opportunity given to Lovie Smith in Tampa.”

    That’s backwards, even for an organization like the Fritz Pollard who stands against this kind of needless bias/ignorance.

    This isn’t even racist. It’s just dumb and taking a good opportunity away from a potentially good man and his good family.

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