Miami — Stopping short of saying the Rooney Rule is not working, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted Wednesday the league needs change to its minority hiring policy.
Though the league requires teams to interview minority candidates, only two African-Americans have been hired for 19 open head coaching spots over the past three years. The league has only two minority GMs among the 32 teams.
“Clearly we are not where we want to be on this level,” he said at his annual Super Bowl news conference. “We have a lot of work that has gone into not only the Rooney Rule but our policy overall. It’s clear we need change and do something different.
“There’s no reason to expect we’re going to have a different outcome next year without those kinds of changes and we’ve already begun engaging in those changes. Not just with our diversity committee, not just with the Fritz Pollard Alliance, but others. And trying to figure out what steps we could take next that would lead to better outcomes. It’s clear we’re all committed to doing that, and we have to make those changes.
“We will have a series of meetings which we’ve already scheduled over the next month to get that kind of dialogue going, to continue the dialogue to try to determine what are the solutions so we can have those better outcomes, he added.”
The Rooney Rule, which has been adopted by other leagues and businesses, calls for a minority candidate to be interviewed for head coaching and executive openings such as general managers. Critics have said those interviews are often simply token responses to the rule and that the minority candidates are not seriously considered for those positions.
Goodell also addressed negotiations between the NFL Players Association and the league on a new labor deal. The current 10-year contract runs out in March 2021 and there is optimism on both fronts that a new deal would be finalized before this March when the 2020 league year begins.
Ex-Viking Doleman dies
Hall of Fame defensive end Chris Doleman, who became one of the NFL’s most feared pass rushers during 15 seasons in the league, has died. He was 58.
There was no word on the timing of Doleman’s death, but he had surgery in January 2018 to remove a brain tumor and Baker said he passed away “after a prolonged and courageous battle against cancer.”