Last week, it was announced that NFL Owners would be voting on the decision to improve diversity in the league, by hiring and incentivize more minority and general managers and head coaches in the league, as well as new resolutions regarding the Rooney Rule.
Now, according to ESPN, the league has approved some of those proposed changes.
The NFL will now make head coaching and general management positions more diverse.
However, there are still changes to be made regarding “approving a resolution” when it comes to “minority hiring with draft-pick compensation.”
According to the outlet, 24 of the 32 NFL organizations must vote in favor for a resolution to go into effect.
“There was a great deal of support,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “But there were also some suggestions, amendments, and thoughts that we may want to go back and talk to others, including the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and try to strengthen it and try to make sure it does what we were originally intending, which is to reward teams and coaches for developing minority coaches that can go on to be head coaches in this league.”
Moving forward, according to ESPN, the league new alterations will now require teams to:
1. Interview at least two candidates from outside the organization as well as at least one minority candidate for any head-coaching vacancy.
2. The league now “prohibits a club from denying (1) an assistant coach the opportunity to interview with a new team for a bona fide Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator or Special Teams Coordinator position and (2) a non-high-level/non-secondary football executive from interviewing for a bona fide Assistant General Manager position.”
3. The Rooney Rule has been changed and now requires teams and league offices to interview “minorities and/or female applicants” for team president as well as “senior executives in communications, finance, human resources, legal, football operations, sales, marketing, sponsorship, information technology, and security positions.”
4. All 32 teams will establish a full-time minority coaching fellowship program.
As it stands now, prior to these new implications, the league had four minority head coaches and two minority general managers.
“We believe these new policies demonstrate the NFL Owners’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the NFL,” Art Rooney II, Steelers owner, and committee chairman said in an official press release from the league. “The development of young coaches and young executives is a key to our future. These steps will assure coaching and football personnel are afforded a fair and equitable opportunity to advance throughout our football operations.”
African American offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Bieniemy, also spoke with reporters about the new changes being enforced.
“As a coach, you always want to be judged based upon your own merit,” Bieniemy said regarding draft picks, and minority hires.
Bieniemy, who also has interviewed for a head-coaching position for the past two years, also expressed his support and approval with the new rules in the league.
“That’s huge across the board regardless of skin color,” he said. “It doesn’t make a difference. Now you get the opportunity to interview the best football coach for that particular position. With all this discussion being brought to the table, it just opened up different doors for many different people … I am happy that was passed so those guys can have an opportunity.”