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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    107

    Default Is the NFL's Rooney Rule a Civil Rights Violation

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: USA

    First off, so there are no misconceptions here, I am a white male who firmly believes that everyone - regardless of race, nationality, religion, etc. - should be treated as equals in every way... that is, until their actions dictate otherwise. I also firmly believe that racial diversity is a good thing.

    For those unfamiliar with the "Rooney Rule", it requires NFL teams to interview a minority candidate when attempting to fill a coaching position from the outside. The rule does not apply if the team is hiring from within - only if outside candidates are to be considered.

    Is this constitutional? I understand what the NFL is trying to do here: promote diversity. I don't know the #'s but the percentage of minority coaches in the NFL has historically been extremely low. Especially in the head coaching dept. So Dan Rooney comes up with this idea to try and change that. Ok, good on him for trying to make a positive difference. But is it ok to tell a white person, "well, you are qualified, and I'd like to hire you, but I can't - I have to interview a minority first." Doesn't that fall under the category of holding someone back due to their race? What if the owner of a company said to a black person, "well, you are qualified, and I'd like to hire you, but I can't - I have to interview a white person first." Would that be ok? B/c that is the same thing.

    Again, I get what the NFL is trying to do here. I do not find fault with the league trying to promote equal opportunity and racial diversity, but I question the method they are using.

    An exercise in curiosity, is all this is

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,098

    Default Re: How is the Nfl's Rooney Rule Constitutional

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    My question involves civil rights in the State of: USA

    First off, so there are no misconceptions here, I am a white male who firmly believes that everyone - regardless of race, nationality, religion, etc. - should be treated as equals in every way... that is, until their actions dictate otherwise. I also firmly believe that racial diversity is a good thing.

    For those unfamiliar with the "Rooney Rule", it requires NFL teams to interview a minority candidate when attempting to fill a coaching position from the outside. The rule does not apply if the team is hiring from within - only if outside candidates are to be considered.

    Is this constitutional? I understand what the NFL is trying to do here: promote diversity. I don't know the #'s but the percentage of minority coaches in the NFL has historically been extremely low. Especially in the head coaching dept. So Dan Rooney comes up with this idea to try and change that. Ok, good on him for trying to make a positive difference. But is it ok to tell a white person, "well, you are qualified, and I'd like to hire you, but I can't - I have to interview a minority first." Doesn't that fall under the category of holding someone back due to their race? What if the owner of a company said to a black person, "well, you are qualified, and I'd like to hire you, but I can't - I have to interview a white person first." Would that be ok? B/c that is the same thing.

    Again, I get what the NFL is trying to do here. I do not find fault with the league trying to promote equal opportunity and racial diversity, but I question the method they are using.

    An exercise in curiosity, is all this is
    Based on the way you have described things it says that they must interview a minority. It does not require them to give the minority the position. As far as I can see they are still permitted to hire the best person for the job from all of the applicants interviewed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,167

    Default Re: How is the Nfl's Rooney Rule Constitutional

    Agree that the difference is in the recruiting/interviewing process and giving a minority a chance rather than forcing anyone to hire based on race. AAPs generally have a goal in recruiting/sourcing so that in the end more women/minorities are at least considered for the positions. In the end, if the minority isn't the best, I truly doubt they would get the position just based on their race. They might be more likely to get the interview though.

    But being barely related through marriage to a family that has ties here and there to the NFL, I do think being from a legacy family has it's advantages and whether that's just the advantage of dad/uncle/grandpa knowing insiders, etc, it can be VERY hard to break into the NFL or even big time college coaching.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,853

    Default Re: How is the Nfl's Rooney Rule Constitutional

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post

    Is this constitutional?

    That is actually not the right question because this is not a constitutional issue. It is important to understand that the U.S. constitution primarily does two things: (1) sets out the organization and powers of the federal government and (2) sets out certain rights that citizens have against the government. The Constitution does not generally regulate the conduct and affairs between private persons or entities.

    However, federal statute, specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, does prohibit employers with at least 15 employees from discriminating against employees on the basis of race. A number of states also have statutes that bar discrimination on the basis of race. It is only illegal discrimination if the employer takes action against an employee or applicant because of the employee’s race. The Rooney Rule does not disadvantage applicant for a coaching job on the basis of race. It does not mandate that teams hire coaches of any race or even that teams give preference to coaches of any race. It simply requires that the teams interview (and by implication consider) minority race coaches for positions. Once the various potential coaches are interviewed, the team is free to pick from any of the interviewed persons so long as the choice is not made with regard to race. Thus, a team could not a favor a white or black coach because of his (or perhaps some day her) race in selecting which coach to hire. I have little doubt that the NFL consulted its legion of lawyers when drafting this rule to ensure it would pass under the Civil Rights Act, and I think it did a good job on that score.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: How is the Nfl's Rooney Rule Constitutional

    Understand now - thanks for the replies

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    35,894

    Default Re: How is the Nfl's Rooney Rule Constitutional

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post

    That is actually not the right question because this is not a constitutional issue. It is important to understand that the U.S. constitution primarily does two things: (1) sets out the organization and powers of the federal government and (2) sets out certain rights that citizens have against the government. The Constitution does not generally regulate the conduct and affairs between private persons or entities.

    However, federal statute, specifically the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, does prohibit employers with at least 15 employees from discriminating against employees on the basis of race. A number of states also have statutes that bar discrimination on the basis of race. It is only illegal discrimination if the employer takes action against an employee or applicant because of the employee’s race. The Rooney Rule does not disadvantage applicant for a coaching job on the basis of race. It does not mandate that teams hire coaches of any race or even that teams give preference to coaches of any race. It simply requires that the teams interview (and by implication consider) minority race coaches for positions. Once the various potential coaches are interviewed, the team is free to pick from any of the interviewed persons so long as the choice is not made with regard to race. Thus, a team could not a favor a white or black coach because of his (or perhaps some day her) race in selecting which coach to hire. I have little doubt that the NFL consulted its legion of lawyers when drafting this rule to ensure it would pass under the Civil Rights Act, and I think it did a good job on that score.

    That's a really great explanation, Tax. Thank you
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    24,349

    Default Re: How is the Nfl's Rooney Rule Constitutional

    Doggie - what are you doing online? There's a football game on!

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