John Mara suggests expansion of Rooney Rule for “feeder” positions

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When it comes to diversity and the demographics of its pool of players, the NFL’s hiring practices for head coaching jobs have gone from worse to abysmal. Few have offered clear, tangible solutions for encouraging a country club consisting mainly of older white men to move in a slow, methodical way that gives fair consideration to candidates from all backgrounds.

Giants co-owner John Mara recently suggested an expansion of the Rooney Rule to include not only head coaching jobs but also certain important assistant assignments that become the pathway to running a team.

“We’re obviously using the Rooney Rule for the head coaching candidates, but I think we may have to use the rule for the feeder positions, especially on the offensive side of the ball because that’s where so many of the head coaches come from,” Mara told Peter King for his latest Football Morning in America column. “We talked in December on the Workplace Diversity Committee about feeding the pipeline further. I can tell you: This is a real concern of the Commissioner and the league.”

That’s fine, but it needs to be a concerns for the owners, billionaires who are used to doing what they want and aren’t going to deviate from a path that they believe will be more likely to yield victories in the name of helping the league improve its statistics when it comes to the representation of minorities in a pro football team’s most important non-playing roles. Ultimately, it’s a convergence of self-interest on both sides of the problem that keeps management from naturally and organically changing its ways — and that keeps those who have been wrongfully overlooked for promotions from doing anything about it.

Owners won’t allow themselves to be pushed to hire someone other than the guy they want to hire. And assistant coaches who continue to be passed over won’t be willing to sacrifice their careers in the name of pursuing one of the only avenues that can force businesses to change their practices.

Ultimately, litigation provokes change. Business owners adjust when the threat of litigation, actual litigation, and/or the consequences of litigation give them no choice but to make alterations to their procedures and practices. Absent the genuine and immediate threat of litigation, it’s a P.R. issue. And it has yet to become a major P.R. problem for the league.

It’s a two-week story, at most. An annoyance for the league, which will go away once the Super Bowl teams are determined, to resurface at the earliest the following January. It doesn’t have legs, it doesn’t have a sustained voice, it doesn’t have the power to make the owners develop and implement real changes, at least not yet.

Putting it another way, this controversy won’t get the attention of owners in the same way the anthem controversy did, because the demographic that caused the league to run scared in 2017 seems to have no problem with four or fewer minority head coaches and one minority G.M.

If they did, things would change very quickly.

11 responses to “John Mara suggests expansion of Rooney Rule for “feeder” positions

  1. And I would suggest that all player positions immediately have to have a population-based representation for race. There is no other part of the sport that is so out of wack with overall population percentage. If we are to opine about the lack of pigment in higher positions, we should demand that pigment does not crowd out other people who deserve an opportunity who don’t get it.

    What is good for the goose is good for the ganer.

  2. Is Mara unaware that he could have hired a more qualified candidate of Color like just last week?

  3. People are going to hire whom they want to hire. If they feel that person is qualified, regardless of race which everyone seems to want to make EVERYTHING about now, they will give them a job. You can’t force a HC to take someone onto his staff that he doesn’t want.

  4. Look at how quarterback camps…have developed more quarterbacks to be ready for college and the pros. Creating a program…to develop and mentor minority coaches..for opportunities…is a good start. Give them the modern tools and mentors to learn….that’s how you develop anything.

  5. Stuff like this is hilarious because Mara isn’t following his own advice yet thinks there should be a rule to further encourage him to do what he could already have been doing himself for years.

  6. Says the part owner who does not employee minority head coaches. Anyone asking him about what he said and the actual NYG HC hiring history?

  7. If in America people were hired on merit, we would not have this problem. Historically, it’s been who you know, not what you know that gets you in the door.

  8. citizenstrange says:

    The only thing that will work is a quota system enforced by rewards and/or punishments.

    Because quota systems produce good results?

    You haven’t been alive for very long have you??

  9. Coming from a guy that just hired a white coach last week, his attempt to be a social justice warrior after the fact rings hollow. No matter what affirmative action rules the NFLPA tries to conjurer up, Owners will always go with their gut on who is going to manage/coach their multibillion dollar franchise. No rule will ever change that.

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