Rooney Rule: Wake Up Gesture or Legitimate Solution?

The NFL has just announced in its annual report which teams will be selected to compensate for the 2022 NFL draft.

The NFL rewards teams with draft picks for helping teams to lose players during the free agency period in the offseason (hence the term, “compensatory”). But there is another way teams can make compensatory picks, and that is when and when their staff minority coaches go elsewhere to get a major coaching job.

According to ESPN, six franchises (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers) have been appointed to fill the vacancies of former head coaches or general managers.

With all the social justice undertones blended into today’s NFL experience, one would think that award-winning teams could be another example of this to get more black coaches in the NFL. Should we turn our eyes to the Rooney Rules and try to be another example of an NFL awakening?

For once, we shouldn’t worry this is another nauseating equity-based gesture.

From the NFL Operations website, we first read the reasoning behind the formation of the Rooney Rules:

“The Rooney Rules are part of the NFL’s efforts to develop a deep, sustainable talent pool at all levels of the organization. The policy promotes diverse leadership among NFL clubs so that promising candidates have the opportunity to prove that they have the skills and qualifications required to excel.

Through hiring best practices, Rooney’s goal is to increase the number of minorities appointed to head coaches, general managers, and executives. This diversity enriches the game and builds more efficient, quality organization from top to bottom. “

Clearly, words like “diversity” and the equivalent of diversity make your organization a more successful awakening. After all, the quality of your organization is not determined by the color of people’s skin, but by how they work together as a team to achieve a goal.

Yet, much has changed in 19 years, and with our current cultural context, many see the lack of diversity in this position of power as a sign of NFL racism (enter with Brian Flores), which would potentially turn out to be Rooney’s rule. Like an awakening solution to an awakening problem. But fortunately, the Rooney rule was created to give minority candidates equal opportunities – something that all businesses should try to do for their employees – but it does not guarantee equal results. Additionally, the rule was created in 2003, when we didn’t have to worry about selling the NFL for a waking agenda.

For once, we should give the NFL credit for how they handled a crisis they thought they needed to fix. They have quietly found a way to motivate the parties to achieve their desired results and have done so without waking up.

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