The NFL introduced the Rooney Rule to help minorities secure opportunities on NFL coaching teams. However, the rule did not pay dividends as teams managed to find loopholes to sidestep it. At present, there are 4 head coaches of color in the league. The NFL spotted this and adapted the rule, however, a former coach has not taken this well and aired his opinion on how important the rule can be.
While having a conversation on 92.3 The Fan with Baskin and Phelps, former Browns coach Hue Jackson called for a change in the Rooney Rule. He said, “It’s gotta be tweaked. Obviously, it hasn’t worked.”
He highlights the issue of hiring and firing faced by a large number of minority coaches
Jackson cites himself as an example after the Browns dispatched of his service following the 2018 season. He secured the job 5 years after being dismissed by the Oakland Raiders following the 2011 season.
Drawing on his experiences from 2012 and 2018, Jackson says, “I think the hardest part for minority coaches, and I can say this because I’ve been through it a couple of times now, when you become a coordinator or a head coach, where do you go after that when you’re a minority coach. Because you’ve been to the highest. People don’t just turn around and hire you. That’s the way it’s been.”
In this regard, he talks about the Rooney Rule potentially guaranteeing minority coach time at the club so that they can succeed.
Jackson feels a few dismal seasons or just a single season does not help coaches grow or is not the right indicator of their performances after they have worked their way up the league.
“I didn’t climb the ladder because my dad was a coach or brother was a coach. I worked my way up in the National Football League. I’ve coached on both sides of the ball, I’ve coached some extremely good players. I’ve created the right environments. And at the end of the day, it’s like you’re penalized for it because of the Cleveland situation. I don’t think that’s fair.”
What are your views on Hue Jackson’s comments?