Muscle Sport Magazine

Rooney Rule Expansion – NFL Quota System

“May the best man (or woman) win.” That statement means absolutely nothing nowadays in the National Football League when it comes to hiring the two most important positions in a sports organization. Qualifications have been replaced by skin color and commissioner Roger Goodell doubled down on it by expanding the Rooney Rule, which was adopted by the league in 2003 to make teams interview at least one “diverse candidate” (ie: black) for an open head coaching position. Six years later, general manager and “equivalent front office positions” were added.

Although there has been more than three times the amount of minority head coaches in the NFL since the Rooney Rule was implemented (with only six of 19 having career records .500 or over), this was apparently not suffice for everyone involved. So the NFL’s Workplace Diversity Committee expanded the rule and the pandering commissioner took a victory lap.

“Since the inception of the Rooney Rule, we have seen the rule adopted across business sectors and considered an industry best practice to increase diversity,” said Goodell in a statement. “The policy updates made today will bolster the current Rooney Rule requirements and are intended to create additional opportunities for diverse candidates to be identified, interviewed, and ultimately hired when a vacancy becomes available.”


Teams now must interview at least one diverse candidate from a list comprised by the Career Development Advisory Panel (former players, coaches and executives John Madden, Charley Casserly, Dick Daniels, James “Shack” Harris, Bill Cowher, Bruce Arians, and Jimmy Raye III) or a diverse candidate not already employed by the organization and “must continue best practice recommendation of considering multiple diverse candidates.”

Here’s the kicker: “The committee also endorsed strong accountability measures in the event clubs fail to comply or seek to evade procedures outlined in the Rooney Rule.” ​

Let’s cut through the bullshit and come right out and say it, mSm style – this is a quota system.

Much like the corporate world, college admissions and civil service examinations that are graded on a curve, highly-coveted positions will be filled by people who are not the most qualified and, in turn, will put those who are hired/accepted/promoted in a spot where they will have difficulty in succeeding.

Let’s take this hypo ethical situation: Team A undergoes a number of interviews to fill an open head coaching job. The candidates were from a pool of names that the front office was interested in as the best ones for the job but also included two more that were given to them by the Career Development Advisory Panel. Team A wants to hire one of their own choices but that person just happens to be white. To come out of this process looking politically correct, they hire one of the black candidates that was on the list from the panel, even though their professional opinion is that he is not ready for the job.

Team B is in the same situation but sticks to their guns and hires a white candidate. They have had their eyes on this person all along and felt from the day the position was available that he was the heir apparent. But they had to play the game, per se, and go through a number of interviews with those they had no intention of hiring – black and white.

Team B outperforms Team A in every facet of the game and is much more successful on the field.

Are they ‘wrong’ for hiring who they did? Of course not, and any fans of these hypothetical teams – black and white – should prefer winning over a head coach’s race. But by the league making it very difficult to hire a white man over a black man, it is doing no one any favors – especially the black candidates who are only hired because of the pressure to do so. And this rule will result in teams having to go through a number of charade-type interviews just to be in compliance with it.

One either deserves the job or not; their race should not come into play whatsoever and play no part in the process of earning a job. It’s counter-productive, actually, and hurts everyone involved… just for a league to have the opportunity to say, “See… we’re doing everything we can to get more black guys hired. We’re part of the solution, not the problem.”

A ‘solution’ that creates different problems.

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