The NFL held a Special League Meeting in Dallas and the Workplace Diversity Committee, which Steelers President Art Rooney II is a member, presented modifications to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the NFL's Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule is named after late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney.
These policy enhancements are part of the League's ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
"Since the inception of the Rooney Rule, we have seen the rule adopted across business sectors and considered an industry best practice to increase diversity," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The policy updates made today will bolster the current Rooney Rule requirements and are intended to create additional opportunities for diverse candidates to be identified, interviewed, and ultimately hired when a vacancy becomes available."
The enhancements to strengthen the Rooney Rule include:
1. Clubs must interview at least one diverse candidate from the Career Development Advisory Panel list or a diverse candidate not currently employed by the club;
2. Clubs must continue best practice recommendation of considering multiple diverse candidates;
3. Clubs must maintain complete records and furnish to the league upon Commissioner's request; and
4. If final decision-maker is involved in the beginning, he/she must be involved through the conclusion of the process.
The committee also endorsed strong accountability measures in the event clubs fail to comply or seek to evade procedures outlined in the Rooney Rule.
The Rooney Rule changes were developed in consultation with several independent groups including The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which advocates for diversity and job equality in the league.
Adopted in 2003, the Rooney Rule is an NFL policy requiring every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidates. In 2009, the Rooney Rule was expanded to include general manager jobs and equivalent front office positions.
In other news from the meeting the 85th NFL Draft will take place on April 23-25, 2020 in Las Vegas on and around the iconic Las Vegas Strip.
The NFL also announced on Wednesday the five teams that will serve as the home teams in the league's international games, with four games in London and one in Mexico City.
While dates, times and teams designated as away teams won't be revealed until the spring, the league unveiled the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers as hosts.