Ozzie Newsome’s retirement highlights a looming Rooney Rule mess for the NFL

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After the Raiders treated the Rooney Rule only slightly better than they treated former coach Jack Del Rio (whose position was filled even before it was vacant), the NFL beefed up the terms of a provision that has, for many teams, become an exercise in box-checking. And the proof is hiding in plain sight; currently, minority coaches and executives are dwindling, not thriving, in the NFL.

Only one African-American coach or G.M. has control over a football operation, and Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome will be retiring at season’s end. That will leave no coach, no General Manager, no V.P. of player personnel, no one who has practical or contractual final say over the construction of an NFL roster.

If Chris Grier remains in Miami (his status is unclear), he’ll be the only minority G.M. when the dust settles on 2018. For coaches, it could become nearly as bad. With Hue Jackson already out in Cleveland, and Vance Joseph, Todd Bowles, and Steve Wilks expected to be fired in Denver, New York, and Arizona, respectively, the NFL will have only four minority coaches: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin (whom many locals want to see fired), Bengals coach Marvin Lewis (who could be out), Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera (who’s currently expected to be safe).

That’s not what the league or the Fritz Pollard Alliance envisioned more than 15 years ago, when the standard named for the late Dan Rooney first emerged as a device for rectifying decades of unfairly biased hiring practices by NFL teams, as demonstrated by the raw numbers. Perhaps nothing other than a massive verdict in federal court will spark truly meaningful change when it comes to ensuring that fair, unbiased practices are employed not only when hiring coaches and executives but also when grooming lower-level employees for advancement (which could be the real heart of the problem).

Maybe that’s where it all ends: With a jury putting a large number in the appropriate box. Maybe, at some point, a coach or an executive who can attest to a career full of subtle but unmistakable bias will take a stand, aided by a team of lawyers who will aggressively uncover the proof to support the notion that, no matter what the league says, most of the teams do something otherwise.

100 responses to “Ozzie Newsome’s retirement highlights a looming Rooney Rule mess for the NFL

  1. You can’t force diversity just for appearance sake. Teams should be allowed to simply hire the person they feel can best do the job. You would have to be a fool to turn down the best candidate over race.

  2. Excellent article, Mike. But the facts remain. This a win now business. And is clearly the best example in the U.S. of non-racism. Pro basketball and baseball equally. “Forcing” or “allowing” a minority into the job would invite the reverse. Let it alone and let the chips fall where they may. It’s what it is…..the best person for the job.

  3. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.
    ———————————————————————

    You’re just as blind as our current administration. That’s the problem, there are qualified minority candidates, they just aren’t given the opportunity or are being held to an unfair higher standard.

    Why do you think the Rooney Rule had to be implemented?

  4. Affirmative action doesn’t work when your job relies on immediate performance. Your color doesn’t give you an edge over the competition. It doesn’t make you a better coach. Affirmative action is for companies that rely on teams not individuals and need to have some of us a tokens.

  5. Has the Rooney Rule ever resulted in a hiring? Has there been an instance where teams brought in their token Rooney applicant and they were blown away by him to the point they ignored who they coveted in the first place? Or has this only been done to fulfill a quota and teams hired who they wanted anyway?

  6. I tend to lean left more than right regarding politics, but this is just stupid. Forcing a team to interview someone based on the color of their skin is prejudice in itself. Dump the Rooney rule for good if you want to be fair to all.

  7. gauchosporlife says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm
    bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.
    ———————————————————————

    You’re just as blind as our current administration. That’s the problem, there are qualified minority candidates, they just aren’t given the opportunity or are being held to an unfair higher standard.

    Why do you think the Rooney Rule had to be implemented?
    ————————
    Qualified does not equal highly competent. Why does Marvin Lewis still have a job when he hasn’t won a playoff game in 15 seasons? Hmmm, makes one wonder. And it certainly doesn’t help when you have guys like Hue Jackson and Vance Joseph getting two years to prove their incompetence. Wilks only needed one year. Those are prime examples of what’s WRONG with the Rooney Rule.

  8. This rule does nothing but waste the time of both ownership and minority applicants. Teams are forced to interview people they have no interest in hiring just to adhere to this rule, which is outdated and unnecessary. As the players have become more diverse than ever, the natural coaching pool will follow suit. To enforce something that is occuring naturally is counter productive and disrespectful to all minorities who really earn these opportunities

  9. Of they’re not doing a good job they shouldn’t be fired because they’re a minority? The hats what it sounds like you’re saying. so quality no longer matters? That is what America’s becoming, no common sense just we must be diverse no matter the consequences. Too bizare. How about the best people get hired no matter color and the non performing get fired no matter the color. mediocrity should not be the standard.

  10. I can understand the thought or belief that minority candidates aren’t being groomed and therefore they’re not rising to the levels of becoming a qualified candidate for HC or GM. That said, you can’t say that qualified candidates are being overlooked for those positions. The proof is in the pudding. Look at this article for all of the current coaches that are drastically underachieving. The desire by NFL clubs to hire a minority candidate at HC has had a significant negative impact on the careers of some of these men. Vance Joseph and Steve Wilks were NOT ready but they got the job anyway. Now they may never get a chance to be a HC again.

  11. the rooney ruke isnt a hiring rule for minorities…its only a interview rule. That each team must interview a minority before they hire. Its quite simple. Their is no rule on hiring minorities only interviewing.

  12. They need to work on a bottom up program, both for the back office & coaching staff if they want real change. Forced change doesn’t work from top to bottom. It needs to start with positions like the assistant to the assistant GM or like a lot of the coaches mentioned in the article, positions coaches that work their way up.
    Real change takes time, 15 years isn’t enough.

  13. @gauchosporlife

    At some point Hue Jackson, Steve Wilks, Todd Bowles, and Vance Joseph were considered qualified minority candidates and given the opportunity to be head coaches. Ultimately their PERFORMANCE has shown that the earlier consideration was WRONG and therefore they are on the way out. Should they be retained to continue their poor performance just to push up the numbers so and get the “appearance” that the obnoxious few are demanding? I am among those who think Mike Tomlin should be fired. I’m sure you will see this as “racist” despite his inability to beat teams with losing records, abysmal clock management, and a horrible record in challenging calls and making defensive adjustments. Nobody gets to be a billionaire and stay a billionaire by neglecting people with talent because of their race or any other criteria. Those that try to operate that way are soon relieved of their fortune or at least enough of it for them to walk away with their tail between their legs.

  14. The Rooney Rule and affirmative action are failed experiments. Interview and hire the best person for the job not based on the color of his skin.

  15. The NFL could provide incentives for franchises to sign underrepresented minorities to general manager and head coach positions. One would be for the league to pay the first $5 million in salary to the franchises making the hires and charge back the other franchises their share of that payment. They also could provide salary cap enhancement benefits to teams with minority hires. It’s obvious the Rooney Rule isn’t working.

  16. I totally agree with what you’re saying. Many minorities and NON MINORITIES have been given a chance but have failed. Such an important position on a team shouldn’t have anything to do with race. These owners didn’t make their fortunes by listening to ridiculous rules like this. Whoever is the most qualified for the team will be hired.

    che1991 | Dec 29, 2018, 11:00 AM MST
    @gauchosporlife

    At some point Hue Jackson, Steve Wilks, Todd Bowles, and Vance Joseph were considered qualified minority candidates and given the opportunity to be head coaches. Ultimately their PERFORMANCE has shown that the earlier consideration was WRONG and therefore they are on the way out. Should they be retained to continue their poor performance just to push up the numbers so and get the “appearance” that the obnoxious few are demanding? I am among those who think Mike Tomlin should be fired. I’m sure you will see this as “racist” despite his inability to beat teams with losing records, abysmal clock management, and a horrible record in challenging calls and making defensive adjustments. Nobody gets to be a billionaire and stay a billionaire by neglecting people with talent because of their race or any other criteria. Those that try to operate that way are soon relieved of their fortune or at least enough of it for them to walk away with their tail between their legs.

  17. “niles659015 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    Has the Rooney Rule ever resulted in a hiring? Has there been an instance where teams brought in their token Rooney applicant and they were blown away by him to the point they ignored who they coveted in the first place? Or has this only been done to fulfill a quota and teams hired who they wanted anyway?”

    Um, yep. Mike Tomlin. Steelers were strongly considering Russ Grimm (and I believe Whisenhut), brought Tomlin in for an interview, and hired him instead.

  18. If coaches get fired it’s for a reason and it’s not the color of their skin. Newsome is going out on his own terms. The NFL is so cut throat if a member of the Taliban could coach a team to a championship he would have a job.

  19. The Rooney Rule is only about interviewing, nothing about hiring. So for anyone to blame the failures of Hue Jackson Marvin Lewis and others on the Rooney Rule, is just false. Blame ownership for making a bad hire.

  20. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.

    Agreed, and that was the reason for the Rooney Rule. Minority candidates, even worthy ones, weren’t being considered or interviewed, presumably because of their skin color.

    That said, clearly the rule isn’t the solution since teams just pretend to interview and don’t give real consideration.

  21. “retirement”

    LOL

    he was reassigned and fired for being awful the last 7 years with drafting

    missed the playoffs 3 years in a row, maybe 4 and the flacco contract started a cap hell all over the league

  22. It’s as if Legislation actually changes people, culture, perspective, etc.

    Oh wait, it didn’t, doesn’t, and won’t.

    If you’re gonna write in a Rule that truly MUST be followed then the only way it’s gonna get followed across the board is if the consequence of breaking the Rule outweighs the sum total of following the Rule. As it stands currently it raises the question of how serious was the NFL regarding the Rooney Rule in the first place.

  23. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.
    Xxxxxxxxxxxx

    We people of color have always felt that way but the old boy’s club would not let us in no matter how qualified we were.

  24. It’s cute how many of you think that who you know and connections isn’t as important in the NFL as it is anywhere else. The point of affirmative action programs, fundamentally, is to break through that good old boy network and get people who are not in it because of things out of their control, such as which rung on the economic ladder you were born in, the color of your skin, etc. into those networks.

    I have a good friend who’s a billionaire who I met a few years back. Inequality isn’t about money, that’s just the visible side. Inequality is the what I’ve seen being in that network do for people. Anything designed to get people into the networks is a good thing in my opinion.

  25. It’s really refreshing to see that, with a couple of exceptions, a majority of fans on this board are finally saying they’ve had enough of diversity-mandated decisions. It’s taken 45 years for some folks to come around, but it’s good to finally see.

  26. che1991 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    @gauchosporlife

    At some point Hue Jackson, Steve Wilks, Todd Bowles, and Vance Joseph were considered qualified minority candidates and given the opportunity to be head coaches. Ultimately their PERFORMANCE has shown that the earlier consideration was WRONG and therefore they are on the way out.

    ———————————————

    With respects to Wilks and Bowles. They have not been given a fair opportunity by comparison. Head Coaches like Adam Gase and Dirk Koetter got 3 years to work with their first round picks (Tannehill, Winston) at quarterback. Neither Wilks nor Bowles has even gotten a full 16 games to work with their rookie first round pick quarterbacks (Rosen, Darnold. While coaches like Gase and Koetter got 3 years to work with and mold their first round pick quarterbacks. Also the Jets have played very well for Bowles in the last 4-5 games. And Bowles even did something with Ryan Fitzpatrick that Koetter couldn’t do with him in Tampa…have a winning record (10-6 with Fitzpatrick). So why should Bowles get shortchanged out of an opportunity to work with Darnold just because he was given low quality quarterbacks to work with in the past?

    Joseph wasn’t really given much of a chance either with Siemian-Osweiler-Lynch (all 3 no longer with team) last year and just getting this year to work with free agent signee Case Keenum – who may not even be their qb in 2019.

  27. Whatever happened to best person for the position? I’m Hispanic and didn’t get my job cause of my brown skin. Being bilingual is a plus but not a requirement. You want the job then be the best at what you do, that simple!

  28. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.
    —————————————–

    OK, old fashioned… please explain how does a person get “qualified” and experience if they never get an opportunity? It’s very easy to make comments like yours, but it’s harder to believe that there have only been 10 black coaches in the NFL, I believe 3 Hispanic… 3-4 black GM’s, and the one remaining is retiring… I can remember when they said that blacks were not smart enough to play QB. Yeah, your comment is very “old fashioned”… and before you or anyone else chime in… I don’t know what the answer is, maybe after some of these old white men with old fashioned points of view move away from the game or die out things might get better, but don’t hold your breath.

  29. Just curious, if an NFL owner (ornother potetnial Voss) doesn’t want to hire a minority, why would a minority want to force him to hire them?

  30. I’m a minority and I think the Rooney rule is just stupid. Sport is the most result oriented business, survival of the fittest. Applying race to it goes against the spirit of the game. Do you really think owners don’t want to hire a winner when they see one instead of just their skin color?

    And what happens if one day we have a black owner and he or she only wants to hire black employees or does the Rooney rule apply here? It’s just a mess.

  31. Remember the school superintendent who said you couldn’t win with a black quarterback referring to Deshaun Watson?

    People like him (and there are A LOT of them) are the reason the rooney rule was created

  32. screbels89 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Just curious, if an NFL owner (ornother potetnial Voss) doesn’t want to hire a minority, why would a minority want to force him to hire them?
    ———————————-

    Judging by this post I’m convinced most of you don’t know what the Rooney Rule says… and are rather commenting on what they think it says… and to answer they don’t have to hire them… just commit to an interview for the position.

  33. The Rooney Rule is a policy that requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.

    There is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates.

    And THAT is basically all there is to the Rooney Rule… yeah I can see why everybody posting here is so confused.

  34. edon8334 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:45 pm
    Remember the school superintendent who said you couldn’t win with a black quarterback referring to Deshaun Watson?

    People like him (and there are A LOT of them) are the reason the rooney rule was created
    ——————————————————————————————

    Any owner dumb enough to put racial bias above winning championships is doomed to fail.

  35. Just a quick look at two teams I follow. They have people who are important pieces of the GM’s team. With the VP player personnel title, in Cleveland there’s Berry and Highsmith. In SF with the title of Senior Personnel Executive, there’s Martin Mayhew. That’s hardly a mess. Only your additional stipulation where they have to make the final decision makes these three not fulfill your requirement.

  36. Hilarious comments about owners hiring the best person for the job. If owners knew how to hire the best people for the job, they wouldn’t be firing 20-25% of head coaches year in and year out. Anyone who follows football knows that owners hire guys based on names they’ve heard of before, whether they’ve worked with a relative of theirs before (nepotism is rampant in the NFL), and whether the guy seems to be trending upward.

  37. Maybe the should implement a 2 year rule.U get fired from HC teams need to wait 2 years to hire that coach.So tired of seeing the same tired old retreads getting jobs.NFL needs new blood across the coaching landscape regardless of color

  38. Not everyone is a number 1. Many of us are great number 2’s but we cannot run a billion dollar organization. Suitability for a job has nothing to do with race.

  39. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.

    **********************************************************************************

    I wouldn’t call you “old fashioned” — just wrong.

    The Rooney Rule doesn’t dictate whom a team can hire. They can hire the most or least qualified person available, or whoever else they want. No clue how this is so confusing for people.

  40. niles659015 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    Or has this only been done to fulfill a quota and teams hired who they wanted anyway?

    *************************************************************************

    Awesome — now we’re conflating the Rooney Rule with quotas.

    The Rooney Rule has nothing to do with quotas. Typical NFL fans have no clue what the rule actually is or requires, but want to complain about it.

  41. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.

    **********************************************************************************

    I wouldn’t call you “old fashioned” — just wrong.

    The Rooney Rule doesn’t dictate whom a team can hire. They can hire the most or least qualified person available, or whoever else they want. No clue how this is so confusing for people.

    ————————————

    Then what’s the point of having the rule? Do away with it and not a single thing would change. Teams will still hire who they want like you said.

  42. As a fan of a team that has never won a Super Bowl i can confirm i don`t care if the HC is white,black,green or purple i just want someone good at their job.
    I don`t have a problem with the intent of the rule and giving minorities the chance to wow in a interview and get their name in consideration but there are times like with Oakland where they had a previous relationship with Gruden and knew that they wanted to rehire him so interviewing a minority becomes a farce to the rule and an insulting waste of time for the minority. The rule is good in theory but not good in real world practicality with or without racism.

  43. dirtdawg53 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    “niles659015 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    Has the Rooney Rule ever resulted in a hiring? Has there been an instance where teams brought in their token Rooney applicant and they were blown away by him to the point they ignored who they coveted in the first place? Or has this only been done to fulfill a quota and teams hired who they wanted anyway?”

    Um, yep. Mike Tomlin. Steelers were strongly considering Russ Grimm (and I believe Whisenhut), brought Tomlin in for an interview, and hired him instead.

    ————-

    That isn’t what happened though. What actually happened was the Steelers offered Grimm the job(Whisenhut was never under consideration), leaked to the media Grimm was to be the new HC and to break the news first thing in the morning and were done. Tony Dungy called up the Rooney family and essentially bullied them into hiring Tomlin as in his own words “the Rooney Rule was named after you so you have a social responsibility to set an example.” They then pulled the offer to Grimm and gave it to Mike Tomlin.

  44. Whats the big deal? Eric DeCosta has been waiting in the wings for at least 8 years now with the understanding that he will be taking over whem Ozzie retires, which he did. Baltimore has been paying him more as an assistant GM than more GMs make because they were committed to him.

  45. dirtdawg53 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    “niles659015 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    Has the Rooney Rule ever resulted in a hiring? Has there been an instance where teams brought in their token Rooney applicant and they were blown away by him to the point they ignored who they coveted in the first place? Or has this only been done to fulfill a quota and teams hired who they wanted anyway?”

    Um, yep. Mike Tomlin. Steelers were strongly considering Russ Grimm (and I believe Whisenhut), brought Tomlin in for an interview, and hired him instead

    —————-

    Wrong. The Rooney Rule was enacted AFTER Tomlin was hired. The idea behind it was that if only minority candidates could just get an interview more and more would WOW.. except that hasn’t happened. The Tomlin situation has proven unique. All the minority candidates that have been hired since were recommended by the NFL’s career development advisory panel.

  46. bazookajoeflacco says:
    December 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Then what’s the point of having the rule? Do away with it and not a single thing would change. Teams will still hire who they want like you said.

    ******************************************************************************

    There are 2 primary aspects of equality in hiring: equality in process/opportunity, and equality in actual outcome.

    The Rooney Rule’s intent is to increase procedural equality, to ensure that people have access to the basic opportunity of being hired, regardless of background. This is done by requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate for specific jobs.

    The Rooney Rule has no bearing on who actually should or can be hired, nor does it require that the actual hiring decision outcomes be equal because of the relevance of other factors (e.g., past performance). Requiring equity in hiring outcomes would be tantamount to a quota system, which the Rooney Rule is not.

  47. Leman Russ says:
    December 29, 2018 at 2:57 pm
    Whats the big deal? Eric DeCosta has been waiting in the wings for at least 8 years now with the understanding that he will be taking over whem Ozzie retires, which he did. Baltimore has been paying him more as an assistant GM than more GMs make because they were committed to him.

    1 1 Rate This

    ——————-

    well, ha and ozzie did a poor job. flacco’s cap hit alone is 26 mil next year

    suggs and weddle are gone

    he better prove
    he can draft because he and ozzie sucked the last 7-8 years

  48. I fear it is only going to get worse. For whatever reason, most black head coaches have come from the defensive side of the ball. With the desire right now of finding the next McVay or Nagy, and the dearth if black OCs, the numbers could get much worse.

  49. therealraider says:
    December 29, 2018 at 3:07 pm
    dirtdawg53 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Wrong. The Rooney Rule was enacted AFTER Tomlin was hired. The idea behind it was that if only minority candidates could just get an interview more and more would WOW.. except that hasn’t happened. The Tomlin situation has proven unique. All the minority candidates that have been hired since were recommended by the NFL’s career development advisory panel.
    _______________

    Wrong. Rooney Rule was put in place in 2003. Tomlin was hired in 2007.

  50. The Rooney rule needs to be eliminated. Owners have an incentive to interview a wide range of candidates for (potential) openings because winning will almost always translate to higher revenues and profits.

    In the NFL, you will never get hired because you are “qualified”, you will get hired only because you are the *most qualified* person available for the job. NFL football is a game of inches, and as such, teams need every advantage they can get in order to win.

  51. Yet Tony Dungy was able to hand pick Caldwell as his successor and no white candidates were interviewed for the job, so why does this garbage joke of a rule only go one way? Hypocrisy at its finest

  52. To all that keep saying just hire the best candidate blah blah blah. Think of this…

    I want to race you in a 40 yard dash. BUT I’m going to start from the 30 yard line and you have to start from the endzone. Is that fair?

    Of course not. White privilege is starting at the 30 yard line. Anyone that cant at least open their minds to understand this is duliosnal.

    There needs to be things in place to LEVEL the playing field to MAKE things fair. 2 generations ago blacks didnt even have equal rights.

  53. I think the bigger issue is these re-treads that didn’t work on their other stops in the NFL tour but continue to get hired by other teams thinking they will suddenly “make the coach.”

    I also don’t understand why Marvin Lewis has kept his job for so long.

    I actually defended Hugh Jackson, and still think the team’s misfortune had mostly to do with other factors. I mean they didn’t win a lot of games the last few years but that team is one he helped build the last couple years. The team everyone is calling a highly desirable coaching spot going into next year. The same team that probably should’ve had about 4 more wins early in the season but things like missed kicks, blown calls, etc… resulted in a loss or tie. Tyrod could’ve had this team at 3-1 very easily. And we’ve seen what Mayfield has done since. If they get another receiver to pair with Landry and take the spot they thought they had filled with Gordon… they’re going to become immediate contenders in the division for the next 5 years. Color doesn’t dictate coaching ability, but I also don’t think there needs to be a rule about it. I’ve gotten the sense Ozzie isn’t exactly ready to go and was getting pushed out simply because the Ravens have done horrible since their last Super Bowl. Now that they’ve turned a corner and FINALLY given up on Flacco… Ozzie might have a renewed interest and find another team in the league that could use his services.

    But hey, isn’t this an offseason type topic anyway? Or at least that bye week before the Super Bowl?

  54. che1991 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    @gauchosporlife

    I am among those who think Mike Tomlin should be fired. I’m sure you will see this as “racist” despite his inability to beat teams with losing records, abysmal clock management, and a horrible record in challenging calls and making defensive adjustments.
    ——————————————-

    HA! I had to chuckle at that one- Sounds like you are talking about Andy Reid- Can’t beat the good teams or win a playoff game, never-mind a SuperBowl, his “clock management” inabilities are legendary, countless odd/poorly timed challenges, and well- look at his defense!

    Yes I’m being a bit tongue in cheek, but I really don’t get Steelers fans desire to nix Tomlin. He’s been similar or better than Cowher was, and while maybe not the greatest coach exactly, who is out there that would be better?

  55. “Um, yep. Mike Tomlin. Steelers were strongly considering Russ Grimm (and I believe Whisenhut), brought Tomlin in for an interview, and hired him instead.”

    Not quite.

    The Steelers had already satisfied the rule by interviewing Ron Rivera.

    As another poster mentioned, the Steelers ultimately brought in Tomlin because if the rule was going to be named after the Steelers owner, it would be a bad look if they did not hire a minority.

  56. The Rooney rule is discrimination period. No other big business in America has this type of rule. The NFL is not game its is Business.

  57. @sayyestothis unfortunately you are the one that doesn’t get it. Sticking with your analogy, the people with the real advantage have already won. You can start wherever you want, they don’t need to run because they started at the 40 or hell probably even further downfield. Those people are few and far between. You can’t compete under any circumstances. The vast majority of white people are starting in the end zone with you. So while you are now starting at the 30 to keep up with people that aren’t even running the race, the rest of us normal people are back at the end zone shaking our heads.

  58. I desperately wish to see Jason Garret fired. As a “ginger” he is a disappearing minority according to geneticists.

    Does that make him qualified for the Rooney rule and worse,me a bigot because I think he is awful?

  59. Getting an opportunity to interview is fine. Teams should be casting a wide net anyway. At least someone who actually wants the best person for the job would be doing this on their own. However “staying” hired is a completely different matter. Don’t cry foul racism and say the rule isn’t helping when the minority coaches you list being canned are coaching losing teams. Anthony Lynn isn’t getting fired. Probably because he has a good record and is doing a good job. Those other coaches are falling short. That’s why they are being fired. To insinuate that it’s somehow connected to Race is Racist!! The left just can’t get past race. Bring it up at every turn.

  60. ineptguy8 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 6:09 pm
    @sayyestothis unfortunately you are the one that doesn’t get it. Sticking with your analogy, the people with the real advantage have already won. You can start wherever you want, they don’t need to run because they started at the 40 or hell probably even further downfield. Those people are few and far between. You can’t compete under any circumstances. The vast majority of white people are starting in the end zone with you. So while you are now starting at the 30 to keep up with people that aren’t even running the race, the rest of us normal people are back at the end zone shaking our heads.

    =========

    I hope you are not white. Bc again you are part of the problem not acknowledging inequality and the existence of white privilege…

  61. kevo126 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 5:02 pm
    the ravens were the FIRST team to hire a black GM. Clearly they were willing to hire the best for the job regardless of race.
    ——————————————
    And he rewarded them with two hall of famers on the first two draft picks in franchise history!

  62. Mike Tomlin has a higher winning percentage than Bill Cowher and Chuck Noll – – and Joe Gibbs, Bill Walsh, Paul Brown, Tom Landry, Andy Reid, Sean Payton, Bud Grant, Pete Carroll, Bill Parcells, Jimmy Johnson, Marv Levy, Mike Shanahan, etc, etc, etc.

    The complete list of NFL coaches who have more wins than Tomlin AND a better winning percentage: Don Shula, George Halas, Bill Belichick, Tony Dungy.

    If the Steelers let Tomlin go, he’d have a job in 12 hours – – and rightfully so.

  63. “As another poster mentioned, the Steelers ultimately brought in Tomlin because if the rule was going to be named after the Steelers owner, it would be a bad look if they did not hire a minority.”

    And they hired one who has never had a losing season.

  64. That’s not what the league or the Fritz Pollard Alliance envisioned more than 15 years ago, when the standard named for the late Dan Rooney first emerged as a device for rectifying decades of unfairly biased hiring practices by NFL teams, as demonstrated by the raw numbers.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Your logic is absurd. Here is another example based on the same ridiculous thought process: There are no white cornerbacks in the league therefor it is obviously due to unfair bias and must be immediately remedied. All teams must now have a white CB on the roster and taking first team reps throughout the pre-season. I find it baffling that your solution to perceived racism is to mandate actual racism.

  65. This is an anomaly. So what? The listed minority coaches in the NFL this year performed poorly. They, along with coaches like Mike McCarthy should be fired. There are plenty of candidates for coaches, coordinators and GMs out there that are minorities that are well qualified.

    I don’t personally know of anyone that would rather have someone unqualified but white in these positions. And I don’t see anywhere in the country, college or pro that would rather have a losing team than one lead by a minority.

    If Ozzie Newsome and Anthony Lynn were leading my Dolphins, I’d be a very happy fan…

  66. sdiegosteel says:
    December 29, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    I fear it is only going to get worse. For whatever reason, most black head coaches have come from the defensive side of the ball. With the desire right now of finding the next McVay or Nagy, and the dearth if black OCs, the numbers could get much worse.

    You mention Nagy, yet you don’t touch on how his replacement has piloted a much more explosive offense. But then again, I guess Eric Bieniemy doesn’t sound black enough to you…

  67. @sayyestothis it really doesn’t matter, but I am part Caucasian and part Arabic. I get that there is racism in the world. If I grow a beard I get looks. No one can understand/pronounce my last name. Hasn’t ever cost me a job that I know of. I don’t think I have it as bad as others, but in these scenarios race isn’t a factor.

    I wasn’t born on the 30 yard line. I am more qualified than most in my field, but I see others get opportunities because they are “diverse”. Many of them actually came from privilege. That is the worst part. Privilege is not color specific. They actually did start on the 30 yard line in terms of wealth and opportunity, but then they check a box and suddenly they get an additional 30 yards. Some of them are actually better for the job and with a few minor exceptions, no one complains when they get promoted. It’s the ones that are only there so that the company meets the numbers that are irritating.

    It’s not the 60’s. Almost anyone that is in a position to matter cares more about winning, profit, goals, etc. to let race get in the way. It’s only when you change the incentives via a Rooney rule or affirmative action that most people start to look at race as a criteria.

  68. You guys cant be this simple! You need the Rooney rule or something better because blacks would never get a chance to get head coaching jobs. Quick quiz name 5 black OCs you’ve seen in the NFL? You dont see black OCa and who’s more likely to get a head coaching job… ? The OC. Football is a very racist game . Case in point name 5 black center’s? Ok wait name 5 white cornerbacks ( not safety’s) We all know about black QBs. Name 5 white tailbacks? Hahahahahha No matter how much you close your eyes football is a race based sport. You love to see black players run up and down the field but you dont care about our struggles outside of the stadium. You dont care how Blacks are the best athletes but there always has to be a white person coaching us or being our gm. Read what o wrote and name a top 20 corner back since Jason Sehorn. If the game isn’t race based your crazy

  69. I just read this whole article and I don’t know if Mike Florio likes or dislikes the Rooney Rule. I don’t know if Mike Florio thinks the rule is good for the NFL? While I agree the best qualified individual should be hired, when only one segment of the population is being interviewed, how do you know youre hiring the most qualified? All the rooney rule is stating is that teams should at the very least look at a minority. People are always screaming, that all the owners are white, and the majority of the players are black. Whats wrong with interviewing someone? Perhaps so many people hate the rule because its named after rooney and they hate the steelers? If so that’s truly petty

  70. Call me old fashioned but I believe people should be hired based upon their qualifications and not the color of their skin.
    ———————————————————————

    And if everyone were truly treated that way, AND started from the same starting line, then employee and management ranks should look like the general population, or like the customer population.

    So how do you explain that the majority of football players are black, but the majority of coaches and GMs are white? At minimum, there should be 17% black coaches and GMs mirroring US population demographics. If you look at nfl/college player demographics, then more than half of coaches and GMs should be black.

    Either way, whites are over-represented, so something is wrong. If blacks truly aren’t as “qualified” why not? Most likely because they’re not getting the same mentoring, development, and opportunities as their white counterparts.

    The numbers tell anyone with eyes that something isn’t right/isn’t working.

    17-50% would be 6-16 HCs and GMs.

  71. people who claim that the best person is always hired and use the players as an example for their argument, are mistaken. What the players do on the field is quantifiable. Their height, their speed, their strength, how they perform athletically. For a coach you need to interview them, find out their philosophy of the game. The way they approach teaching players, their idea of building a team, offense and defense. Basically you are taking a chance. So if you don’t interview a coach, how do you know anything about them? Oh sure you can determine those things, when it comes to hiring an older established coach, but what about the hot trend of hiring younger coaches? They don’t have a history to draw from, so you MUST interview. If youre not interviewing minorities you have no way of knowing if your passing up on the next Tom Landry, Don Shula, Bill Belichick, George Halis, Paul Brown, or vince Lombardi.

  72. Mike Tomlin has wasted so much elite talent over the years. Totally understand why fans want him replaced. Todd Haley definitely had a hand in wasting talent and he has been fired twice in less than a year. Sports is all about winning. NFL teams are a business and they can hire and fire at Will, just like any other business. I’m OK with the Rooney rule requiring teams interview a minority but they have the right to hire who they want.
    Also some wonderful Coordinators and assistants know a ton about football but are not cut out to be the number one guy. Romeo Crennel is one and Pat Shurmur might be another one. Without a franchise QB we will never know about Shurmur.

  73. happy1114 says:
    December 29, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    The Rooney rule is discrimination period. No other big business in America has this type of rule. The NFL is not game its is Business.
    ————————————————-

    What? Either you don’t live in America, or you have never been employed by a “big business”- this is policy in many businesses.

  74. I’ll never understand people who have a problem with the Rooney Rule. All it does is require teams interview minority candidates. It’s not affirmative action. It doesn’t force anyone to hire or retain a minority candidate over someone who is more qualified. It just forces them to at least talk to one person outside of the good old boys circle of Jeff Fishers and the like. People act like it personally inconveniences them that some NFL teams might have to interview one extra person.

    Maybe someone a team wouldn’t have otherwise interviewed will blow a front office away and get the job. But even if teams go into the interviews with a pretty good idea of who they want, it helps people who would otherwise get overlooked get experience interviewing, see what front offices look for in head coaches and get their names out there.

    Even with the Rooney Rule in place, there’s a dramatic lack of diversity among NFL coaching staffs, especially considering the demographic makeup of people who actually play the game.

  75. There’s no real looming mess. Only one which is fabricated by the media
    There is no real racism in these hires, the 1960’s are long gone.
    If you want the job, make yourself so far & away better than the competition that the owner’s choice is obvious. The only color the owners care about is GREEN $$$$$$$$$….The very premise of the Rooney rule is silly in 2018

  76. loldeepball says:
    December 29, 2018 at 10:32 pm
    I’ll never understand people who have a problem with the Rooney Rule. All it does is require teams interview minority candidates. It’s not affirmative action…

    Even with the Rooney Rule in place, there’s a dramatic lack of diversity among NFL coaching staffs, especially considering the demographic makeup of people who actually play the game.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In simple terms, the rule implies that minorities are inferior and thus need help to get jobs. In prior years it was billed as an opportunity to get job interview experience, actually furthering the stigma it purports to quash. If you support this rule then your thought process is those white guys are better so we need to help the minorities because they cannot help themselves. It is an absurd premise just like that white privilege thing that other commenter was yammering on about. They are built in excuses that keep a victim mentality alive rather than force an individual to develop a plan to succeed on their own. You are correct in that it is not affirmative action but only in the sense that there is no hiring mandate (yet). Diversity for diversity’s sake is insulting. It means that the primary concern is skin color or ethnic background rather than the merits and qualifications of the individual. As you stated, there is no requirement to hire a minority. Then, what exactly is the point? This policy was brought about because there was a belief by some that NFL owners were racist and failed to consider minorities based solely on the color of their skin. Let’s assume for a moment that is true. What does the policy actually do? It just wastes the time of everybody involved because the racist owner will still pick the white guy. How is that a solution? Meanwhile, legitimate hiring desires are forced to be hidden so that it looks legit so that minorities and SJWs can somehow feel better that someone they don’t know was allowed to sit in a room with a billionaire just because he is NOT white. If you still do not understand why some people dislike the policy then it is because you don’t want to understand.

  77. I believe most fans only care about whether or not their team is winning or at least has plan that will put them on a path to winning. They really do not care about the racial make-up of the team, coaching staff, or front office.

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