To those inside the NFL league office who seek to address the league’s minority head coach and general manager hiring dilemma, their incentive plan could seriously backfire and ultimately injure minority hiring efforts. Consult American history for evidence.
The NFL owners in November agreed on a way to expand methods to increase minority representation among head coaches and general managers. The idea: “Teams that lose a minority coach or executive to a head coach or general manager job with another team will receive a third-round compensatory pick for two consecutive years. … If a team loses a minority coach and an executive to head coach and general manager roles, that club will receive a third-round compensatory pick.”
The hired minority head coach or general manager would need to have been employed by the previous team for two consecutive years in order for it to receive compensation.
Though NFL owners approved the plan, it is subject to NFL Players Association approval.
The lack of minority head coaches and general managers, 17 years after the league enacted the Rooney Rule, appalls. Racial minorities landed just three of the last 20 head coach vacancies. And former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, one of that fortunate trio, was fired after just one season. The general manager numbers are even more alarming — Black men occupy just two of the 32 slots.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was fired on Monday, and Adam Gase (New York Jets) and Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars) also lost their jobs. With Lynn’s firing, there currently are five head-coaching jobs and six general manager positions open. Three teams (Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans) are looking for head coaches and general managers. Currently, only the Washington Football Team, Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins have minority head coaches. Raheem Morris (Falcons) and Romeo Crennel (Texans) finished the regular season as interim head coaches for their respective teams.
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