Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
The Oakland Raiders hired Jon Gruden to be their new head coach, but they might not have satisfied the Rooney Rule in good faith.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes diversity in NFL coaching and executive positions, has called on the NFL to investigate the Raiders’ compliance with the Rooney Rule, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe:
Ben Volin @BenVolin
The Fritz Pollard Alliance wants the NFL to investigate the Raiders over its compliance with the Rooney Rule https://t.co/hDJS9E5Nwv
League rules state you have to interview a minority candidate before making a hire. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, both Tee Martin and Bobby Johnson were interviewed for the job.
The question is whether the team made the decision before the interviews with minority candidates.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Dec. 31 that Gruden was expected to be the team’s new coach, replacing the fired Jack Del Rio, per 95.7 The Game. Schefter added the report of the former Monday Night Football announcer receiving a 10-year contract worth $ 100 million on Jan. 5.
The team didn’t make its official announcement until Jan. 6 with the press conference coming on Tuesday.
There is also debate whether Martin, an offensive coordinator at USC, or Johnson, the team’s tight end coach, were ever serious candidates for the job.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman provided his opinion on the team’s compliance with league rules:
mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL
I’m writing on how the Raiders hiring Gruden is an excellent hire. And it really is. But they’re making a total sham of the Rooney Rule. Everyone knows it. Everyone in the league is talking about it. Total sham.
The Raiders have a history of diversity between current general manager Reggie McKenzie and past head coaches like Hue Jackson and Art Shell, but not taking the Rooney Rule seriously could still come with consequences.