Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stands on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.
Phil Pavely, Associated Press
Forget the Rooney Rule. A new study from the Washington Post shows the NFL’s hiring process sets up Black coaches to fail. The Post found that since 1990, Black coaches have been twice as likely to be fired after a regular season record of .500 or better than their white counterparts.
The Rooney Rule requires league teams to interview at least one candidate of color before filling head coach or senior operations positions, but that rule has carried over to other jobs in the league, as well. This includes general manager, senior executive and front-office positions. From the NFL operations page, “The Rooney Rule encourages hiring best practices to foster and provide opportunity to diverse leadership throughout the NFL.”
But despite the NFL’s development of the Rooney Rule, only three head coaches starting this season are Black: Todd Bowles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Washington Post wrote that this is the same number of Black coaches as there were in 2003, the year the NFL first adopted the Rooney Rule.
The study found that despite performing about as well as white coaches, black coaches are far more restricted when it comes to career development. They have had to work longer as mid-level assistants and are more likely to be given interim jobs than a full-time position. Though over 60% of players in the NFL are Black, only 25 of 191 head coaches since 1989 have been Black — including the first Black head coach hired to the NFL that same year, Art Shell.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News