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Rooney Rule

It’s that time of year again in the NFL. No, I’m not referring to the playoffs, but the hiring and firing of coaches who couldn’t cut it.

If you’ve been following the hiring and firing of coaches such as Jim Mora from the Seattle Seahawks or Jim Zorn of the Washington Redskins, you’ve no doubt heard the commentators bring up the Rooney Rule.

The Rooney Rule requires that before an NFL team can hire a new coach it must interview a minority coach for the position. This rule was passed in 2003 and named after the Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney who had long been an advocate for equality in coaching positions. The rule was passed due to the dismal record of minority hiring in coaching positions. Prior to 2003, although more than 70% of the players were African American, only 6% of the head coaches and 28% of the assistant coaches were minorities.

The rule does not necessarily guarantee equal treatment in the hiring process, but will help create a more level playing field.

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