The new proposed addition to the Rooney Rule, which would reward teams for hiring minority candidates, raised a lot of eyebrows around the league. It was one thing for teams to be required to interview minority candidates for head-coaching and general manager positions, but quite another to offer draft picks to teams based on who they employ.
And one of the four minority head coaches in the NFL, the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn, isn’t in favor of it.
“I think sometimes you can do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing,” Lynn said on CBS Sports Radio.
NFL.com broke the news on Friday, that if a team hires a minority head coach its third-round pick would move up six spots. If a team hires a minority general manager, it would move up 10 spots. If a team hired diverse candidates for both positions, it would move up 16 spots. Additionally, a team’s fourth-round selection would move up five spots if the coach or general manager was with said team for a third year. Twenty-four of 32 votes are needed for this pass.
“I think this is out of desperation, this is something that we’re throwing out there, but it is what it is,” Lynn said. “You can’t make people hire someone they don’t what to hire for whatever reason.”
Currently, the league only has two minority general managers and four head coaches. There were five head-coaching openings this offseason, and only one was filled by a person of color: Ron Rivera of the Redskins, who is of Puerto Rican descent. The Rooney Rule, created in 2003, isn’t forcing teams to make such hires, and the NFL wants to do something about it.
But would this be going too far?
Lynn said he believes part of the problem is most owners are not minorities and people often feel most comfortable with those similar to them.
“I think that there are a lot of qualified African-American coaches that could be a head coach in this league, and I just pray that we do our due diligence and give these guys an opportunity,” Lynn said. “There are some qualified applicants and they need an opportunity, and I think this is — out of desperation this is something that has been thrown out there.”
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