On the heels of the Super Bowl, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admits the NFL has a problem when it comes to hiring black head coaches.
Following the league’s latest offseason coaching carousel, only three black head coaches in the NFL remain. Including Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, who is Hispanic, only four of the league’s 32 head coaching jobs are held by minorities, while none of the five head coaching openings this offseason were filled by African American candidates.
“Clearly, we are not where we want to be on this level,” Goodell said, via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “We have a lot of work that’s gone into not only the Rooney Rule but our policies overall. It’s clear we need to change and do something different.
The Rooney Rule was established in 2003 with an intent to give minority candidates more opportunities for head coaching and football operations jobs. But the league has come under fire after the current hiring cycle ended with only one minority candidate hired as a head coach.
“There’s no reason to expect we’re going to have a different outcome next year without those kinds of changes and we’ve already begun engaging in those changes. Not just with our diversity committee, not just with the Fritz Pollard Alliance, but others,” Goodell said. “And trying to figure out what steps we could take next that would lead to better outcomes.
The lack of black coaches is pathetic at this point, and what White NFL owners refuse to understand, is just how big of a role a black coach can have in a player’s lives. On the outside, it looks like the message the NFL is sending to the players and fans is that of the belief, black men can’t lead other black men.