NFL To Institute Rooney Rule For Executive Positions For Women

The NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a head coach or a general manager, will be expanded in the near future, commissioner Roger Goodell announced today. According to Goodell, the NFL will institute a Rooney Rule for women for executive positions around the league.Roger Goodell

“You can see that progress is being made,” Goodell said, per Kevin Patra of “And our commitment is we have something called the Rooney Rule, which requires us to make sure when we have an opening, that on the team or the league level, that we are going to interview a diverse slate of candidates. Well, we’re going to make that commitment and we’re going to formalize that we, as a league, are going to do that for women as well in all of our executive positions. Again, we’re going to keep making progress here and make a difference.”

While Goodell’s announcement signals a positive step forward for diversity in the NFL, there are still a handful of unanswered questions about the initiative. For one, the commissioner’s comments don’t entirely clarify whether the NFL is simply instituting the new guidelines for league office positions, or if the league will require each of its 32 teams to follow similar guidelines. I imagine it’s the latter, but it’s not entirely clear yet.

Assuming the new rules apply to all NFL teams, the league will need to specify whether they apply to all front office positions, or only to particular jobs. The Rooney Rule, for instance, requires teams to interview a minority candidate before hiring a head coach, but doesn’t require them to do the same for offensive or defensive coordinators.

It’s also unclear when the new guidelines will officially be instituted. There are certain NFL teams that will make changes to their front office following the draft, so we’ll see if the league’s new Rooney Rule for women has been formally instituted by then, or whether the NFL intends to have it in place for the 2017 hiring cycle.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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7 comments on “NFL To Institute Rooney Rule For Executive Positions For Women

  1. priscillaboonie

    What will they do if there aren’t any suitable women candidates for the position? Will they just waste some persons time with no intent to hire them at all?

    • Nick Ottino

      thats basically how the Rooney Rule and Affirmative Action work. so yes

  2. priscillaboonie

    What happens when there are no suitable women candidates for a specific position? Then you’ll just be required to waste your time and theirs having an interview with someone you never intended to hire. Nice idea, nice prospect, i just don’t know that it’ll make a differen

  3. jimmyb

    I wonder who will be the teryl austin of female executives.

    • Amy. Track already was

    • Trask princess of darkness

  4. Sam Robinson

    A good idea, yes, and possibly one that can be used more effectively than the Rooney Rule given than more than 32 front office jobs exist. The Rooney Rule absolutely should be expanded to OC/DC jobs, and it’s been exploited in its current form, the Eagles’ Duce Staley interview being the latest example.

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