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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Why it’s Time to Say Goodbye to the Rooney Rule

Why it’s Time to Say Goodbye to the Rooney Rule

Is the Rooney Rule Racist?
Publish Date: 01/04/2018
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy poses for a photo with his bust during the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 6, 2016. (Ben Liebenberg via AP)

What does it mean when it is said that the NFL still needs the Rooney Rule? Does it mean that NFL teams are racist and have to have their hands held to give everybody a fair chance? Does making somebody that is racist interview a minority mean that they will hire that minority candidate? No, of course not. If an owner is inherently racist, he will not hire a minority candidate anyway.

What is the Rooney Rule?

The Rooney Rule was created in 2003 and was named after former Pittsburgh Steelers‘ owner Dan Rooney, who was also the chairman of the NFL’s diversity committee at the time. The rule was created to protect minorities from basically being black-balled (no pun intended) in the NFL. It gives minorities the chance to be interviewed for head coaching vacancies before a head coach is selected.

Is the Rooney Rule Needed?

No. Teams want the best person for the job and if they are racist, interviewing a minority candidate will not change their mind on the matter anyway. The rule is in place to make sure that owners look at minority candidates to make sure they are looking at all qualified candidates. Why wouldn’t an NFL owner look at all qualified people no matter what their race? Is the NFL admitting they are racist? Are they admitting that their owners are incompetent? No. The NFL likes to put lip service on any subject that people put pressure on them about. The rule is a token rule that makes the NFL look good and also makes the NFL feel good about themselves and in the end, those are the two most important things to the NFL.

Are NFL owners Racist?

If the NFL is not just trying to make themselves look good and they think that this rule ie really needed, then I guess the answer to whether or not the NFL Owners are racist would have to be YES. At least some of them are because that is the only legitimate reason that this rule would be needed. Now maybe just a few owners are racist and that’s why this rule is needed but either way, this rule is the NFL admitting that there are some racists owning NFL teams.

Is it fair to minority coaches?

Of course not. If you have a team like the Raiders that know that they want Jon Gruden, who wants to be the token minority candidate that is brought in for a job they will never get? This rule, like so many other NFL rules, is a complete joke and a slap in the face to every minority candidate out there.

What the NFL could do for equality?

If the NFL is so worried about fairness and equality, why not make it so the next time the NFL approves a new owner maybe it should be a minority. Maybe it’s time to shake up the “all-white-boys club” that owns all of the teams in the NFL.

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