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Why the NFL’s Rooney Rule Is Meaningless

By Jared Zeidman On May - 21 - 2009

Fact: There needs to be an immediate increase in non-white coaching figures in every level of football, both amateur and professional.

If the NFL really wanted to do something more than a shrewd public relations campaign, they would force every NFL coaching staff to have a certain percentage of minority figures.

Fiction: The Rooney Rule helps this happen.

For those who do not know, The Rooney Rule (named after Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney) is a policy enforced by the NFL that forces teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any coaching vacancy.

The rule is in the news again since Commissioner Roger Goodell announced his plans to expand the rule to the upper-management level; forcing teams to interview at least one minority candidate.

On paper, this is a great idea that promotes diversity in the sport that needs it the most. But here is why in practicum, this rule absolutely doesn’t work. And more than anything, it should just be an example of the NFL’s coaching paradigm.

Despite the overwhelming majority of NFL players being black, the low level of min...

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