Heading into the offseason the NFL had eight head coaching vacancies. All eight of those spots went to white men. The NFL is now looking into way to improve diversity hires around the league.
At the start of the 2012 season there were five AfricanAmerican head coaches. They were; Leslie Frazier, Mike Tomlin, Romeo Crennel, Lovie Smith and Marvin Lewis.
Lovie Smith and Romeo Crennel were fired by the Bears and Chiefs respectively. Marc Trestman and Andy Reid were hired in their spots. Two white men. Now there are only three African-American head coaches.
According the the NFL, the league will now look into changing the Rooney Rule. A rule they put in place to insure African-American coaches were interviewed for head coaching jobs. The NFL released this statement:
“While there has been full compliance with the interview requirements of the Rooney Rule and we wish the new head coaches and general managers much success, the hiring results this year have been unexpected and reflect a disappointing lack of diversity.
The Rooney Rule has been a valuable tool in expanding diversity and inclusion in hiring practices, but there is more work to do, especially around increasing and strengthening the pipeline of diverse candidates for head coach and senior football executive positions. We have already started the process of developing a plan for additional steps that will better ensure more diversity and inclusion on a regular basis in our hiring results.
We look forward to discussing these steps with our advisers to ensure that our employment, development and equal opportunity programs are both robust and successful.”
Many will argue that the whole topic of race in sports is overblown. Others will point out how a majority of African-American hires have come from promotions within the organizations, not by bringing in someone new.
What side of the argument do you stand on?