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Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the NFL “fell short” in increasing the number of minority head coaches this offseason and that he has no solutions to the league’s hiring practices.
The NFL continues to have a total of five minority head coaches after two were fired and two were hired off-season. Goodell reiterated that he has invited “external experts” to consult on possible ways forward, saying that all options will be on the table, including the elimination and replacement of the league’s Rooney rule, which legislates interviews with various policies, but which does not has had the desired impact on employment.
“We believe in diversity,” Goodell told a news conference outside SoFi Stadium, the site of the Super Bowl LVI. “We believe it has made us stronger. People who have joined the league, who are different, have had great success and made us better, and we just have to do a better job … Is there another thing? , we can do to make sure we attract the best talent and make our league more inclusive?
“I think we need to keep leading and finding and stepping back and saying, ‘We are not doing a good enough job here.'” We need to find better solutions and better results. Let’s find more effective policies. Let’s make sure everyone understands. Let’s make sure we look at diversity and encourage it for everyone in our building.
“… We do not have the success we want with head coaches. How do we develop that rule, or should we have a new rule? Should we find another way to achieve that result? I think we will not rest before we find it, before we get the results that are obligatory for us to move forward and have an inclusive league. “
The issue took a new level of seriousness last week when former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a class action lawsuit against the league and its team alleging violations of civil and human rights laws, citing examples of “sham interviews” used to satisfy elements of the Rooney rule.
The league believes the legal claims are “without justification,” but Goodell reiterated that the allegations will be investigated to determine if the league’s policies were violated.
“We will not tolerate racism,” Goodell said. “We will not tolerate discrimination. If there are policies that we need to change, we will do so. If we have seen evidence of discrimination, we will deal with it in a very serious way that will reflect the fact that we will not tolerate it. “
The 2022 hiring cycle resulted in Lovie Smith (Houston Texans) and Mike McDaniel (Dolphins) joining the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, Washington Commanders’ Ron Rivera and New York Jets’ Robert Saleh as the league’s only minority head coaches.
Flores also said in the lawsuit that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $ 100,000 for every loss the team suffered in the 2019 season.
That claim, along with the others, was “very disturbing,” Goodell said. The league is investigating, and Goodell said: “If there are violations, they will not be tolerated. We will take it very seriously.”
Asked if the NFL had the authority to force Ross or any other owner to sell the franchise, Goodell said, “I think the clubs have the authority to remove an owner from the league. It’s a league vote, I think.”
An NFL team is already on the market. The Denver Broncos announced last month that they were for sale, with an estimated selling price of at least $ 4 billion. Goodell acknowledged that the NFL has been actively searching for various ownership candidates, saying he has personally met businessman Byron Allen, who is Black, during the recruitment process before the Broncos went on the market.
Goodell said Allen is not the only diverse candidate who has expressed interest in buying the Broncos.
“We would love to see a diverse owner of the team,” Goodell said. “Whether it’s a colored person, a woman or a black man, we think it would be a really positive step forward, and it’s something we’ve encouraged – and one of the reasons we’ve reached out to find candidates to do so. “
Goodell spent more than 45 minutes addressing issues related to Flores’ trial as well as a new investigation into sexual harassment allegations involving Washington Commanders, most recently against owner Daniel Snyder.
Goodell said the league took over the team’s investigation of the allegations because “I do not see how a team can hold an investigation on its own.”
In other NFL news:
* The league will play regular season matches in both Munich and Mexico City during the 2022 season. The league’s new international agreement requires a total of four matches in Germany until 2025, two of which will be played at Frankfurt Stadium. The match at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium will be in November 2022, Goodell said.
* Goodell confirmed that league security personnel were informed just before the kickoff of last Sunday’s Pro Bowl that Las Vegas police wanted to speak to New Orleans Saints runner Alvin Kamara about an incident that took place the night before. Kamara played in the game and was subsequently arrested on a battery charge.