NEW YORK – NFL owners voted Tuesday to table a resolution that would have rewarded teams for hiring minorities, various NFL Media reported.
Looking to increase diversity in the ranks of head coaches and general managers, the resolution had proposed allow teams to move up 10 places in the third round of the draft ahead of the second year under a newly hired minority GM. For newly hired head coaches of color, teams would get a six-place jump in the third round of the draft before his second season.
Should a team hire a minority head coach and GM in the same year, the rise would be 16 places in the third round — potentially into the second round.
NFL owners held a virtual meeting Tuesday. The proposal would have needed 24 of 32 votes to pass.
Critics of the plan to expand the Rooney Rule said it could lead to unintended consequences for minority hires.
“There’s three things that they’re worried about,” Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy told the Pro Football Talk PM podcast on Monday. “Number one, how does this put me in my relationship with the other coaches that I work with, and other white coaches? Are they thinking I’m getting an advantage now? Number two, when that general manager or owner hires me, is he hiring me because he thinks I’m the best person, or is he hiring me to move his draft choice up a little bit? And then the third thing this is nobody feels like they want anything special.
“… Don’t hire me and then say I’m going to give you more draft choices later on because you need help. And I know that’s not the reason why the proposal is being put in, I know that’s not what they’re driving at, but that’s still the end result. And so there’s still some things the league needs to think about, about this proposal.”
Only one of five head-coaching vacancies this offseason went to a minority candidate, with the Washington Redskins hiring former Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera. According to NFL.com, only three of the past 20 head-coaching openings were filled by a person of color.
The NFL established the Rooney Rule in 2003, requiring teams to interview minority candidates for all head-coaching and senior football operations jobs.
In other business Tuesday, the owners reportedly voted to approve a resolution that would prevent teams from blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions.
–Field Level Media