Redskins in compliance with Rooney Rule
Leaders of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, the group formed to promote diversity in hiring at all levels of the NFL, said they're satisfied that the Washington Redskins complied with the provisions of the league's minority interviewing requirement before Thursday's hiring of Bruce Allen as their general manager.
"We're very satisfied," John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said in a telephone interview. "They fulfilled it over 10 days ago."
Wooten declined to identify the minority candidate or candidates interviewed by the Redskins.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written online discussion on the league's Web site: "The Redskins have been in contact with our office throughout the process and have followed the proper procedures of the Rooney Rule."
The NFL announced in June that it had extended its minority interviewing rule to include openings for general manager jobs and equivalent front office positions, in addition to head coaching vacancies.
Under the new rule, any team seeking to hire a senior football operations official for its front office must interview at least one minority candidate.
The rule previously had required each club with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one minority candidate.
That provision widely was known as the Rooney Rule after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, the chairman of the league's workplace diversity committee, and was credited by many observers for the gains in diversity that the league has made in its head coaching ranks in recent years.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance had pressed in recent years for the league to extend its minority interviewing requirement to key front office jobs. But NFL officials previously had resisted making that move, instead asking teams to follow the guideline voluntarily.
The new rule does not apply to a case in which a team's top front office job is held or filled by the franchise's owner or a member of his family, or in a case in which a team has an already existing contractual obligation to promote a member of its front office staff.
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