Civil rights leaders have urged NFL team owners to reconsider their practice of hiring for head coaches and senior management positions, setting measurable goals for recruiting and hiring different candidates. Leaders called for the establishment of an advisory commission to make recommendations and define guidelines.
President and CEO of the National City League Mark H. Morial, Founder and President of the National Action Network Rev. El Sharpton, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the National Coalition for Black Citizens Melanie Campbell and Coroner of the United States Williams-Skinner met today with Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II, Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank, Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell, Baltimore Ravens executive vice president Ozzy Newsom and Houmear Royce Houser Tex. NFL leaders.
The meeting was a follow-up to a debate that began with Goodell last week, in which leaders called for a replacement for the Rooney rule, a 2003 policy that required teams to interview colored candidates for head coaching and senior football operations.
“The League’s recent focus on racial equality and social justice has not penetrated its own recruitment procedures when it comes to head coaches,” Morial said. “The NFL has created an amazing pool of black coaching talents that owners usually ignore when holding top positions. We are committed to working with the owners and the League to bring the spirit of “Inspiration for Change” to the list of head coaches. ”
Sharpton said: “The meeting with NFL Commissioner Goodell and the team owners was a step in the right direction, but we want the schedule and goals to crystallize their commitment. We may be as antagonistic or as cooperative as necessary, but we will not sit idly by until the issue is resolved.
“We hope that the goal of attracting Loretta Lynch is to resolve Flores’ lawsuit, not to fight it,” he added. “We want justice for Brian Flores. We enjoyed the Super Cup show at the break, but we want the NFL to be full-time. “
“It’s not enough to just interview more color candidates,” Johnson said, noting that there are no black NFL team owners. “We need different voices in every room where important decisions are made.”
Williams-Skinner pointed to significant public investment in NFL teams and nonprofit NFL status, saying: “This is not just a private matter that can be left to the owners to decide for themselves. We cannot allow the community, which is the source of professional football, to be deviated from its management and governance. ” She also raised a number of questions regarding the NFL team recruitment process, accountability, policy, and the Diversity Committee, to which Commissioner Goodell undertook to provide written answers.