Fritz Pollard Alliance Responds To Raiders Ruling

The NFL has decided that the Raiders did not violate the Rooney Rule during the interview process that resulted in Jon Gruden‘s hiring. The Fritz Pollard Alliance is less than pleased. Jon Gruden (vertical)

We strongly disagree with the NFL’s conclusion that the Raiders did not violate the Rooney Rule,” the Fritz Pollard Alliance said in a statement (via PFT). “We believe the facts overwhelmingly point in the other direction. In his enthusiasm to hire Jon Gruden, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis failed to fulfill his obligation under the Rule and should step forward and acknowledge he violated the Rule.”

The league feels that the Raiders complied with the Rooney rule by interviewing a pair of minority candidates before officially hiring Gruden. But, it appears that Gruden verbally accepted the job and agreed to terms with the club well before Raiders tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin met with GM Reggie McKenzie. The Fritz Pollard Alliance says it will push to change the Rooney Rule to ensure that a black candidate is genuinely considered for every head coaching vacancy.

The NFL broke ground when it created the Rooney Rule, but it made the wrong call in refusing to penalize Mark Davis in this instance,” the statement said. “Davis crossed the line, and we are disappointed in the League’s decision. The Rooney Rule and all of the League’s equal opportunity efforts need to be strengthened. We have called for meetings with the League to ensure that a process like this never happens again.”

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is led by John Wooten and U.S. civil rights attorney Cyrus Mehri. Mehri, a tenacious lawyer who ran an aggressive campaign to take over the NFLPA last year, figures to fight hard for an update to Rooney Rule protocol.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 comments on “Fritz Pollard Alliance Responds To Raiders Ruling

  1. Smartz1

    I understand the concept behind the Rooney Rule. However, if you know who you want to hire, you should be able to hire them. To mandate a minority member had to be interviewed just makes it for show and lives up to the letter but not the spirit of the rule. It would be different if they didn’t have their sights set on one person imho, but that’s not the case here.

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  2. Marcell24

    I’m black and I really do not care for this rule anymore. Minority candidates get a chance more than ever. This is just not needed anymore.

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    • padam

      Agreed. I’m Caucasian and wouldn’t want to see Tomlin replaced. He’s been nothing but exceptional (Steeler fan here). So many good coaches of color. Glad to see progress has been made and hope it continues, with our without the rule.

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      • Marcell24

        Really good coach. I was sad to see him go as a Viking fan. The defense was never the same without him. I also like Bowles with the Jets and liked Caldwell in Detroit still don’t think Jr should’ve gotten the boot. Point is blank coaches get as many looks to be head coaches. What it comes down to is earning it. Look at Arizona two of their finalist are black. I’m so over the Rooney Rule. It’s a joke.

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  3. Brad

    It’s understood why the rule came to be. But when you know who you want, isn’t it then a slap in the face to the minority being given a fake interview? Sure they will always say well we never know until we do the interview. Really? Like you were going to tell Gruden no because you found a better coach in Tee Martin? I think it’s more rude to build false hope than to pass over the minority.

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  4. Kenleyfornia74

    Boo hoo a team didn’t want to give someone a job on the base of skin color. How dare Gruden be qualified

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    • yoyo137

      All they had to do was give ONE interview. It’s like having to eat your vegetables when you’re a kid, just shut the hell up and get it over with

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      • Michael Chaney

        Yeah but that’s exactly what they did (they actually interviewed two minority candidates) and the Alliance is still complaining

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  5. Itrainsontuesday

    In a situation like this where Gruden was 100% going to be the hire, the Rooney Rule leads to the black candidates being candidates merely for tokenism. The Rooney Rule is flawed, but still does more good than bad.

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    • yoyo137

      You and the guy two comments up Brad have the best perspective on this. It’s great to see that people can understand that yes, it was useless in this situation, and token interviews can be seen as disrespect, but that the rule itself is generally a good thing. It can and is both, and most people who are saying the rule is unnecessary, or even racist, are the “but i have a black friend” kinda people.

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  6. tharrie0820

    Considering the only way Del Rio was getting fired was if Gruden would take the job, how could any other candidate, not just a black candidate, be genuinely considered for the spot? So stupid…

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  7. dwhitt3

    So they’re saying a team should not have someone they’re zeroed in on as their next head coach. That’s like saying anyone changing QBs should hold an open competition, no matter what

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  8. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Zero white cornerbacks in the NFL.

    When will the NFL create a rule to fix this problem?

    The Sehorn Rule.

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  9. The Rooney Rule is ridiculous to begin with. Being forced to interview people based solely on their skin color is racism. The Raiders wanted ONE person to coach their team, and hired him. They didn’t interview ten white guys and then choose one; they wanted Gruden and only Gruden, and had nothing to do with their skin color.

    Imagine this rule being applied in other industries. Think about a software company getting fined for hiring Bill Gates without first interviewing a minority. Or imagine if there was a quota that limited the number of players for each skin color, and if you didn’t comply you got fined.

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    • Itrainsontuesday

      In the Chinese Basketball League you can only have so many Americans.

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  10. hersch

    There were 7 black head coaches in the nfl this season. Out of 32 teams that means almost 22% of the head coaching positions in the nfl were held by blacks. However, blacks only make up about 14% of the US population. Doesn’t that mean that white head coaches were under represented in the nfl? Has the Rooney rule expired?

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    • BAINES03

      Considering 68% of NFL players are African American, that number is extremely low, not high.

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      • hersch

        Except that the affirmative action legislation doesn’t read that way…

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  11. chgobangbang

    Maybe nfl should investigate the browns fired schrumer after 9 wins in 2 years while their current coach is retained after one win in 2 years? Don’t make no sense

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  12. Dodgethis

    So a person gets an interview based solely on skin color, but because it’s not “pro-white” it’s acceptable? This rule is the definition of racial discrimination. Of course, perceived injustice outweighs reality.

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    • yoyo137

      Do you know what affirmative action is? Do you know what reparations are? Do you know why Jewish people own Israel? Do you know that when terrible things like genocide and slavery happen to a race, maybe they deserve SOMETHING for it? Like maybe at least an opportunity for a job?? Realistically they should get land and money as reparations and you’re mad that they get a job interview??

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  13. yoyo137

    People complain about this rule SO much!! There’s no way to get around this rule of having to interview a black candidate. So just interview ONE black candidate so you don’t look stupid and then go give your guy $100 million!! It’s really not rocket science, and say what you will about affirmative action and the Rooney rule, but the reason we need these things is because there still is no racial equality!!

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    • Kenleyfornia74

      Thats exactly what the Raiders did and yet people still complain. Like the fritz alliance

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      • yoyo137

        They’re complaining that they did it AFTER they verbally agreed to hire Gruden, which would violate the rule. It’s really not that hard to understand, you just have to know how to read so I’m sorry you don’t get it

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        • Kenleyfornia74

          Gruden and the Raiders were very careful about not violating the rule before making the hiring offical. Its obvious no minority canidate was considered but they were interviewed which fulfills the obligation. Its not that hard a concept yet they complain which is a Joke

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          • yoyo137

            Ok, I guess this is going to take much more explanation than I thought. So they “officially” hired Gruden (putting pen to paper) after they interviewed a minority candidate. But what the Fritz Pollard Alliance is arguing is that they VERBALLY hired him (hell yeah Gruden, job is yours!!) before ever interviewing a minority candidate. Do you get it now?

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