Bomani: If You Make Teams Interview One Minority ‘They’ll Interview Only One’
Questions continue to surround the NFL as to how no minority candidates were hired to fill any of the fifteen head coach and general manager vacancies this offseason.
The conversation has shifted to the possibility of expanding the Rooney Rule and what the likelihood is that that could happen.
The rule, which requires at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for all head coach and GM vacancies, has come under fire for not being advanced enough approach to undo years of favoritism towards white candidates.
Advocates for equality are pushing for the NFL to expand the rule to include offensive and defensive coordinator positions, as well as assistant head coach openings.
Sports talk radio host and “Around The Horn” regular Bomani Jones weighed in on that very issue with 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Thursday.
“Well the problem is everybody called Ray Horton and Lovie Smith,” Jones said. “When everyone is calling the same guys it makes you wonder how serious guys really are about this process.”
Horton – the former d-coordinator for the Cardinals – demanded his release from the organization after being passed up for their head coaching vacancy twice. He also interviewed for the head coach opening with the Browns, but took a lesser job running the defense when the team hired first-time head coach Rob Chudzinski.
Hours after being fired from the Bears where he spent nine years as their head coach, Lovie Smith was reportedly contacted by as many as four teams to interview for head coaching vacancies, although he would end up the head coach of none.
“Unless someone forces NFL teams to interview non-white candidates, they have demonstrated clearly that they will not interview non-white candidates,” Jones said. “If you make them interview one non-white candidate, then by and large they will interview only one non-white candidate.”
Jones cited one of the only teams to interview more than one minority candidate was the Pittsburgh Steelers, when they sat down with Ron Rivera in 2007 before settling on Mike Tomlin.
Jones went on to say the only way the NFL teams will expand the Rooney Rule is if someone forces them to by taking the league to court.