WCL Sport and Society Initiative hosts
conversation about race and the NFL
The rule — which required teams to interview minority candidates for open head coaching positions — was copied by other sports and modified for the corporate world. But for all its promise, progress in the NFL remains slow. While the majority of the players are Black, the majority of coaches are white. White coaches are more likely to be hired a second time, and the sons and brothers white coaches continue to be hot names when jobs come open.
Even after a rewrite of the Rooney Rule, players, executives, and advocates say the league, like many large corporations, needs to do more before it can meet its diversity goals.
The Washington College of Law Sport and Society Initiative recently hosted Jim Rooney — consultant and son of Dan Rooney, the Pittsburgh Steeler’s owner who pushed to create the rule named after him — and James “JB” Brown, host CBS’s “Inside the NFL” for a conversation about race in the NFL.
WCL Professor of Law Jeremi Duru, moderated the conversation, which touched on league policies and the effect sports can have on our culture. Duru is an expert in sports law. In private practice, he represented the Fritz Pollard Alliance of minority coaches, scouts, and front office personnel in the National Football League as well as sports industry professionals in employment matters involving other leagues, including the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.