The NFL expressed its disappointment on Friday over lack of minority hiring to the coaching and franchise executive jobs this season. So, the NFL stated in cryptic words that it could bring around changes to the Romney Rule, which ensures that teams give interview to at least one minority candidate for coaching or front office jobs this season.
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,” said NFL executive vice president of human resources Robert Gulliver, “the hiring results this year have been unexpected and reflect a disappointing lack of diversity.”
There were eight head coaching vacancies this season, including the firing of Lovie Smith by the Chicago Bears and Romeo Crennel by the Kansas City Chiefs. But instead of seeing an increase in the number of minority head coaches from six last season, the number dropped to just four after the latest hiring cycle.
"The Rooney Rule has been a valuable tool in expanding diversity and inclusion in hiring practices, but there is more work to do,” said Robert Gulliver, “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,” continued Robert Gulliver, “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."
The lack of diversity in the recent hiring of NFL coaches and executives has been duly noted by the NFLPA and the Fritz Pollard Alliance as well.
“It is appropriate given that we are coming up on the weekend of Martin Luther King’s remembrance,” said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, “to know and recognize that we still have work to do on the issue of increasing the diversity in the National Football League among the head coaches.”
“I know the players of the National Football League expect a system that is fair,” added DeMarurice Smith. “The Rooney Rule was instituted with the idea of at least putting forth good quality coaches and mandating that those teams interview them.”
Meanwhile, Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation chairman John Wooten was a notch blunter in expressing his extreme surprise and disappointment over Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and Green Bay Packers assistant head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss being snubbed for head coaching jobs this season.
"We feel very strongly there's a need to extend the rule. I'm disappointed, but not discouraged because we have a plan of action,” said John Wooten. “We're putting it together right now and we're going to present our thoughts and ideas to the league. We'll be working together to make something happen."
Jim Caldwell has helped the Baltimore Ravens to the footsteps of the Super Bowl after nearly leading former team the Indianapolis Colts undefeated in his rookie head coaching season three years ago.
"I'm probably more disappointed that Jim Caldwell and Winston Moss didn't get interviews. Caldwell could've been undefeated his rookie year,” said John Wooten, “if (then-Colts general manager) Bill Polian doesn't make the decision to bench Manning. And Moss is such an impressive coach. Look at the way he held together the Packers' linebackers with all their injuries."