NFL Owners Reportedly Voting on Resolution to Incentivize Teams to Hire Minority Head Coaches and General Managers - Black Enterprise

NFL Owners Reportedly Voting on Resolution to Incentivize Teams to Hire Minority Head Coaches and General Managers

The Rooney Rule
The Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin is one of only three NFL head coaches after the 1919 season.

The Rooney Rule — which was supposed to inspire National Football League teams to hire more minorities in executive and coaching positions — has been considered a bust and with many feeling that it has done little to encourage the hiring of minorities in the NFL. Now there is talk that the NFL is considering a proposal to incentivize teams to hire minorities, according to

On Monday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the league will start to require clubs to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching openings and at least one minority candidate for any available coordinator job.

It is also being proposed that teams must also interview one external minority candidate for senior football operations and general manager jobs. In addition to that proposal, teams and the NFL league office must also include minorities and/or female applicants to be interviewed for senior-level positions, including club president jobs.

At the end of the football season earlier this year, while speaking at Super Bowl LIV weekend in Miami, Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged that there was a need to increase the opportunities for minorities to become head coaches and general managers.

“Clearly we are not where we want to be on this level,” he said at the time. “It’s clear we need to change. We have already begun discussing those changes, what stages we can take next to determine better outcomes.”

According to NFL columnist Jim Trotter:

  • If a team hires a minority head coach, that team, in the draft preceding the coach’s second season, would move up six spots from where it is slotted to pick in the third round. A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring a person of color as its primary football executive, a position more commonly known as general manager.


  • If a team were to fill both positions with diverse candidates in the same year, that club could jump 16 spots — six for the coach, 10 for the GM — and potentially move from the top of the third round to the middle of the second round. Another incentive: a team’s fourth-round pick would climb five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team. That is considered significant because Steve Wilks and Vance Joseph, two of the four African-American head coaches hired since 2017, were fired after one and two seasons, respectively.