The National Football League is attempting to make a big change to the league and hire more minorities as Head Coaches and General Managers.
Just three short months ago, Commissioner of the league Roger Goodell addressed the lack of “opportunities of minorities” when it comes to positions including HC’s and GM’s at the Super Bowl.
“Clearly we are not where we want to be on this level,” he stated at the time. “It’s clear we need to change. We have already begun discussing those changes, what stages we can take next to determine better outcomes.”
According to the organization’s official website, only one of five coaching vacancies during the off-season was given to a person of color thus making it the only three out of the last 20
openings, to go to a minority.
This caused for an immediate call to action to prevent this trend from continuing in the future.
The league will now offer a pair of resolutions this Tuesday during the owners’ virtual meeting in an attempt to “level the playing field.”
“The first would remove the longstanding anti-tampering barrier that permits clubs to block assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions with other clubs, even though having coordinator experience is typically the final and most significant step in becoming a head coach,” the league revealed to NFL.Com. “The other would incentivize the hiring of minorities as head coaches or primary football executives by rewarding teams with improved draft slots.”
The league is also looking at “further enhancing” the Rooney Rule, which will double the number of candidates each team is required to interview for main coach and coordinator openings.
Owner of the Pittsburgh Stealers, Art Rooney II spoke on this back in January in an interview with NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
“I think where we are right now is not where we want to be, not where we need to be,” Rooney stated. “We need to take a step back and look at what’s happening with our hiring processes. The first thing we’ll do as part of our diversity committee is really review this past season’s hiring cycle and make sure we understand what went on and talk to the people involved both on the owners’ side, management’s side as well as the people that were interviewed.”
Per the league’s website, shall the resolutions be voted on under League Policy on Equal Employment and Workplace Diversity, it would change the current protocol in the league which has been the goal for many years now.
“If a team hires a minority head coach, that team, in the draft preceding the coach’s second season, would move up six spots from where it is slotted to pick in the third round. A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring a person of color as its primary football executive, a position more commonly known as general manager. If a team were to fill both positions with diverse candidates in the same year, that club could jump 16 spots— six for the coach, 10 for the GM— and potentially move from the top of the third round to the middle of the second round. Another incentive: a team’s fourth-round pick would climb five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team. That is considered significant because Steve Wilks and Vance Joseph, two of the four African-American head coaches hired since 2017, were fired after one and two seasons, respectively.”
During the start of the 2019-2022 football season, the league only had four head coaches and two general managers of color out of 32 teams.