The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group which works to improve minority participation on the coaching and front-office ranks of the NFL, had some strong words for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
The Browns, after firing their Executive Vice President Sashi Brown, quickly hired former Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey. The Fritz Pollard Alliance has no beef with John Dorsey, who is white. However, the group’s Executive Director John Wooten, has serious concern over the Brown’s apparent flaunting of the NFL’s Rooney Rule. A rule which states that a team must interview at least one minority candidate for a coaching or executive position prior to making a new hire.
Wooten toldUSA Today, “I am livid that the Browns would totally ignore the work all of us to make the Rooney Rule meaningful.”
The Browns claim that they did comply with the Rooney Rule. However, it’s unclear which minority candidate they interviewed. Since it appears Cleveland did not interview one of the recommended minority candidates.
The Browns have a minority head coach in Hue Jackson, and, the recently-fired Sashi Brown was also a minority executive. While those facts would certainly support the case that the Browns are not engaging in the practice of racist hiring. The Rooney Rule does not become invalidated based on past hires.
In other words, even if you have a minority coach, and have recently had a minority executive, according to the league rules, you still have to interview a minority candidate for the open position.