Did Raiders Follow Rooney Rule?

Did the Raiders violate the Rooney Rule with the hiring of Jon Gruden? That’s what the Fritz Pollard Alliance is asking the NFL. Jon Gruden (vertical)

As soon as we learned of the reports, we formally requested that the NFL thoroughly investigate the matter to conclusively determine whether the Rooney Rule was violated — and if it was violated, to impose an appropriate punishment,” Fritz Pollard Alliance counsel Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru said in a statement.

During Gruden’s introductory press conference, owner Mark Davis said that he spoke with Gruden on Christmas Eve – while Jack Del Rio was still employed as the head coach – about returning to Oakland. No deal was signed at that point, but Davis intimated that an agreement was in place. This all took place more than a week before any minority candidate was interviewed for the job.

I felt pretty confident that he was all-in,” Davis said. “And that’s the term that we were using in our discussions and everything, are you all-in? And I never wavered from all-in. And this time he didn’t waver, either.”

The Raiders technically did interview a pair of black coaches in Oakland tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin and they feel that is enough to satisfy the Rooney Rule. However, Davis’ comments could be damning, because he appears to be saying that the Gruden hire was already a done deal before they met with GM Reggie McKenzie.

If the NFL finds that the Raiders were in violation of Rooney Rule procedure, the Raiders could face hefty fines and/or the forfeiture of draft picks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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31 comments on “Did Raiders Follow Rooney Rule?

  1. acarneglia

    This is stupid. They already knew who they wanted to hire. Why beat around the bush?

    • cjmask

      I know right? What’s next, forcing teams to use half their draft picks on whites and the other half on minorities?

        • cjmask

          I wonder if the minority candidates were allowed to ride in the front of the bus after their long day of picking cotton when going to meet ownership for the interview.

  2. sidewinder11

    The rule is bs on so many levels. Shame on the Raiders for identifying the coach that fit them best and pursuing him whole-heartedly, right? They didn’t hire Gruden because he’s white, they hired him because he’s the most qualified (in their opinion). This rule has never and will never lead to a team choosing a minority candidate for a job if a white guy is more qualified. If a minority is the most qualified, they’ll interview and hire him. The rule wastes so many people’s time.

    • cjmask

      The rule it itself is racist in the fact that it’s separating whites from minorities. You’re right, the most qualified person should get the job and not force organizations to interview a “token” minority as a formality.

      • renegadescoach

        Exactly! The Rooney Rule is racist and insulting to minority candidates.

    • bigjonliljon

      I agree. But… at the end you might change the term “qualified” to preferred. At the end of the day- being forced to interview a minority just for the appearance is crap. Stupid. Rule. Possibly a good rule at some distant past time. But stupid in today’s world

  3. thebfr21

    Why would you have to interview anyone else Black, White or Red if you know who you want. And what “Minority” coach would want to interview for a job knowing the only reason your there is because of your skin color and not your job performance!?

    • itslonelyatthetrop

      Is few reasons, one- it shows you’re competitive by going after a job that you have virtually no chance of getting. Two, even though you might not get the job, you may impress the GM/Owner enough that if you were in need of a coaching job later on, they would hire you based on that interview. And third, the chance to see what this GM/Owner is like in person, whether they are respectful, genuinely open to hiring you, or just want to use you to satisfy the RR, gives you an idea about if this is someone you would ever want to work for. A good coach always finds a way to turn anything to his advantage. I would like to think those interviews can be used that way, too.

      • One Fan

        You give reasons why a coach would take the interview but no reason to show why teams benefit by a token interview. Whats the point?

        • itslonelyatthetrop

          I was addressing the comment above asking why a minority coach would take the interview.

    • bigjonliljon

      I wonder…. if a team was set on hiring Tee Martin(for example but any minority coach in general) and didn’t interview a white coach… wouldn’t that be racial discrimination? Same as Rooney rule just reversed skin color??

  4. Kenleyfornia74

    What a joke. This is why the rooney rule is a terrible. When a team knows who their guy is, they can’t sign him right away because of the racist rooney rule. And even when they waita week the alliance still complains about it.

  5. E munchy

    The Rooney rule can be pretty insulting. Imagine you get an interview where you know the employer already knows who they want (because you just happened to be watching television that week) and they tell you without telling you are only here because you are black, asian, Latino or whatever?

    Could you catch them off guard and get the job? Sure. But to know I’m only here because you are going through the motions is insulting. At that point Im the token candidate and that’s not why I want to be there.

    • bigjonliljon

      I’m guessing people who interview knowing it’s only due to Rooney rule figure there getting a free trip and experience in interviewing for a later date in time?

  6. carlos15

    If a team only interviews minority candidates would they be required to also interview majority candidates? Doubt it.

  7. mcdusty31

    One thing that came out of it for me at least was learning that Tee Martin is coaching at USC…so there’s that

  8. philwauke

    you mean the same team that has a black gm and at one time had a female ceo?

  9. Dodgethis

    I’m confused about what they mean by minority. Globally white people are a minority. In the NFL white people are a minority. In the Americas white people are a minority. The only place whites aren’t a minority is the USA. However, American sports leagues are full of global players, so once again, whites are the minority. I think what this rule really means to say is that you have to interview non-whites, not minorities.

    • itslonelyatthetrop

      See, you’re turning it into an anti-white thing. You can satisfy the Rooney Rule by interviewing a white woman for the job, too.

      • Kenleyfornia74

        Be realistic. No women will ever be an head coach in our lifetime.

        • cjmask

          Yep and soon it’ll be mandated they must interview at least one Muslim candidate, one paraplegic, and one Martian. Sorry if I left anyone out. If anyone can’t tell by the tone of my comment it’s meant in jest so chill out.

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