Coaching Diversity: The Rooney Rule, Its Application, and Ideas for Expansion

Douglas C. Proxmire Partner, Venable LLP

December 16, 2008

ACS is pleased to distribute Coaching Diversity: The Rooney Rule, Its Application, and Ideas for Expansion, an Issue Brief by Douglas C. Proxmire, a partner at Patton Boggs LLP. The Issue Brief examines the Rooney Rule, which requires a National Football League (NFL) team with a head-coaching vacancy to interview one or more minority candidates for the position. This rule was formed, according to the author, in the context of, "the vast disparity between African-American player participation and coaching representation and the NFL's seventy-plus year track record of failing to interview and hire African-American coaches, except in rare cases." Mr. Proxmire explains that "on its face, the Rooney Rule might appear to be solely about racial diversity in leadership positions within the NFL, but in fact, a discussion of the Rooney Rule involves broader issues that affect not just the NFL, but also other segments of the sports world, as well as employers at large." The Rooney Rule, asserts Mr. Proxmire, "casts a spotlight on several critical workplace diversity issues, including the importance of having managerial leadership reflect the diversity of a workforce, strategies for ensuring that the best people for the job are considered, and tools for combating unconscious bias in hiring and promotion decisions."

Read the full Issue Brief here: Proxmire_Issue_Brief