The Rooney Ruse

General Information Washington Commanders

Anybody else sick and tired of hearing about the Rooney Rule? Anybody else bored to tears with reading about the politics associated with it? I know it is ironic to ink a blog about it when I’m sick of hearing about it, but isn’t that what blogs are for?

Does anybody even believe it anymore when there’s a press release saying that teams have complied with the rule? Or do you just slough it off as though the team obviously found a way to make it look like they did? Teams are circumventing the Rooney Rule by interviewing in-house staff before positions are open; teams are allegedly ‘faking’ the interview process when they already have a candidate in mind.

Is it because the rule is ridiculous?

Is it because organizations just want to hire who they think the best person for the job is and not worry about semantics?

When forced to deal with the semantics, they jump around it and do it anyway. So what good is the rule?

Does it make the NFL look better? I guess.

Does it make it look like they earnestly want to give minorities better opportunities?

Not really. Not when the bulk of the media coverage about the Rooney Rule is basically describing what a waste of time it is.

I’d be curious to know what the Fritz Pollard Alliance get paid for their troubles before I decide whether or not they are acting in good faith. Seems to me that they could easily be just another part of the problem, but I’m reserving judgment for when I have more pieces of the puzzle.

For the record, John Wooten of Fritz Pollard has stated emphatically that the Redskins were in compliance of the rule when they hired Mike Shanahan. According to Redskins Insider, Wooten even went so far as to defend Dan Snyder with a little extra gusto, “I told Jerry (Gray) that Dan Snyder went about it the right way. He called the commissioner and the commissioner called me. The thing that bothered me with Jerry is he didn’t stand up and say, `Dan Snyder came to me and asked me would I be interested in being coach of the Redskins?’ ”

What do you think – is it the Rooney Rule or should it be called the Rooney Ruse?

Please share

5 thoughts on “The Rooney Ruse

  1. Good call on the blog, Boss. I was toying with a similar blog, but couldn’t get it together.

    The Rooney Rule is and always has been the League’s way of placating minorities. It’s just as racist as the alternative which is no Rooney Rule.

    The Rooney Rule assumes that white owners won’t hire a black coach simply because they are white and he is black. This isn’t the 60’s anymore. These owners care about one thing; winning. If they could win hiring a cross-dressing latino paraplegic midget, they would in a heartbeat.

    The Rooney rule takes credit for the efforts of such coaches as Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith and Marvin Lewis; essentially saying that these coaches never would have gotten a job if not for a handout by the white man and that’s crap.

    The rule not only wastes the time of a “black candidate” but also penalizes a team for not first wasting the time of a black man before hiring the coach they wanted in the first place.

    The rule needs to go.

  2. If they could win hiring a cross-dressing latino paraplegic midget, they would in a heartbeat.

    Pretty sure I saw a picture of that guy on the internet somewhere, but I think he already works for the Cowboys… 😉

  3. The Rule served its purpose when it was put in place. There was racism of one of the worst kinds in America. The racist stories of one of our former owner Preston Marshall are as numerous as they were stupid and repugnant.

    The Rule opened the door for HC positions for African Americans at a time when it was needed. Several good coaches grabbed the opportunity and the rest is for the most part a successful history. Similar stories have developed through time in other sectors of society: sports like baseball or even the Presidency of the USA.

    While it is true that the current implementation of the Rule serves no longer a truly useful purpose and owners make a mockery of it more often than not, I still feel that there is a different kind of racism that still prevails not only in America but the rest of the world as a whole. This new form of racism is not only of a white majority against minorities, including but not limited to African Americans. The new forms of racism are subtle and not so subtle. Examples of them can be found in members of one race against another regardless of who is in the majority.

    So, the true question is not whether the Rooney Rule has outlived its usefulness. It definitely has in its current form. Thankfully, there are no bathrooms with signs “White’s only”. The true question to all is, first, whether a Rule is needed at all and, second, if it is needed, how can it become effective to ensure equal opportunity based on race for all potential candidates.

    But make no mistake about it: race is still an troublesome unresolved issue in most societies around the world. And I say this based on my personal experience of having witnessed it, been the victim of racist remarks and even suffered subtle but effective professional development delays based on my ethnic background. It ain’t pretty to witness discrimination or to be discriminated against. Sometimes the subtle forms of discrimination are the most perverse simply because they are the most difficult to act against. So, please be careful to consider all ramifications from a perspective outside of your immediate and comfortable realm.

    Maybe the Rule is not useful anymore in its current form but the alternative, having nothing, ignores the existence of a very valid and still current problem in our societies.



  4. First of all, by no means do I condone any type of racism.

    I just don’t think the Rooney Rule does anything to stop it. It’s too easy to get around the rule.

    I’m also of the belief that anything that separates races, like into whites and blacks – even if it is to ‘better’ a situation for one of them – is racist.

    As long as we are separating races… we’re being racist… we’re all members of the human race. No further distinction need be made in a truly non-racist society.

  5. “we’re all members of the human race. No further distinction need be made in a truly non-racist society.”

    With all due respect, if everybody in the NFL had shared this view, the Rule would have been unnercessary in the first place. We all know that, unfortunately, that was not the norm in the past and I do not see a large group of African Americans in the NFL voicing strong opinions against the Rule now. So, maybe those who are directly affected may think that the Rule in its present form offers little help but the fundamental principle of having equal opportunity is a fair and just demand.



Comments are closed.