Media Contact: Aurora Matthews
December 12, 2018
Fritz Pollard Alliance Applauds the NFL’s Initiatives to Strengthen the Rooney Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2018) — After months of discussions between the National Football League and the Fritz Pollard Alliance (FPA), the NFL today announced that it is strengthening the Rooney Rule.
“These Rooney Rule enhancements are a breakthrough. After last season’s hiring cycle, something had to be done. These enhancements should strengthen the Rule and ensure that it applies as intended and truly gives candidates of color a fair chance,” said Harry Carson, Executive Director of the FPA.
“These new provisions were a long time coming. The FPA has been in discussions with the League about strengthening the Rule since the Combine. Cyrus Mehri and Jeremi Duru have taken the lead in our conversations with the League, and we’re pleased with the outcome. The Rooney Rule has done a lot for equity and fairness in this League, but at times clubs have fallen short of the commitment they made when instituting it. We look forward to robust compliance of the Rooney Rule going forward and to full equal opportunity for all in the NFL,” said John Wooten, Chairman of the FPA.
Key enhancements, which are effective immediately, follow:
Final decision-maker involvement
A club’s final decision-maker – often the owner – will be involved throughout the interviewing processes for general managers and head coaches. For 15 years, in every hiring cycle for general manger and head coach, the final decision maker interviewed minority candidates, until last year in one instance. This enhancement will ensure consistency going forward.
Elimination of the “in-house end-around”
In order to comply with the Rooney Rule, a club must interview a candidate of color from the League’s Career Development Advisory List – a list developed with input from the FPA – or a candidate from outside the club. This reform is designed to prevent clubs from merely nominally complying with the Rule. In addition, it aligns the NFL with the current best practices and latest social science regarding the importance of multiple interviewees of color on a final interviewing slate.
In addition to these and other enhancements, the Commissioner will be more directly involved in enforcing the Rule going forward and will penalize clubs that do not comply. He will be empowered with a wide range of remedies.
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The Fritz Pollard Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of NFL teams.