In an already racially-charged landscape, the National Football League (NFL) has been no stranger to polarizing behavior. In fact, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, made headlines in 2016 for his refusal to stand during the national anthem to protest police brutality. However, while many have looked to players, such as Kaepernick, to give a voice to people of color, many are now looking to the league’s leadership to see if it too will act.
Strengthening the Rooney Rule
In a meeting last month, the 32 owners of the NFL announced that the league was going to strengthen existing rules that would require teams to consider minority candidates for coaching and executive positions. The existing Rooney Rule was implemented in 2003 and named after the then-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney, who advocated for it.
Despite some of the recent criticism that the NFL has faced surrounding race, the league maintains that it is simply trying to strengthen existing regulations and be proactive. According to the league’s chief human resources officer, the focus was how to make the rule better. This stands to be seen and after the number of African American coaches fired in 2018 increased to five, this looks to test where the NFL stands. It stands to be noted that three Caucasian coaches were also let go. Now, only two African American coaches are left in the league, even though at least 70 percent of the players are African American.
Firing Coaches of Color
Though the firing of coaches at the end of each regular season is quite common and to be expected, the statistically disproportionate firing of coaches of color concerns many. It appears the league and its teams have taken minimal action to comply with the Rooney Rule. Even though the league continues to claim that it has closely followed the rule, it begs the question of why the league would need to focus on improving.
New League Regulations
As per new regulations, teams looking to fill positions must interview at least one minority candidate from the league’s Career Development Advisor Panel’s list. Additionally, teams are required to maintain detailed records of who is interviewed. All of this continues to be done in the hope of a fair hiring practice for minorities.
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If you or a loved one has faced discrimination of any kind, it can affect many aspects of your life, including your emotional and financial wellbeing. You deserve to be free from discrimination. At Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., our Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers will work hard to right the wrongs of others and help you receive what you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 today. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and New Jersey.