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.

122 responses to “Goodell: NFL to extend Rooney Rule to women for executive positions

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.”

  5. 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.

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

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.


    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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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??

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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!!

  20. 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.

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

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

  23. 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?

  24. 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!

  25. 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?

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. Dear NFL,

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!!!!

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

  39. 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…

  40. 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?

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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

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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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…

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

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