Roger Goodell says the NFL will re-evaluate its hiring process rules in the wake of the Brian Flores lawsuit … telling media members Wednesday, “We want to see Black head coaches in the NFL.”
Goodell addressed the media in person for the first time since Flores alleged teams have been racist when it comes to hiring coaches — and the commissioner made it clear the league is taking the claims seriously.
Goodell, who spoke at length with reporters in front of SoFi Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LVI, said they’re going to look at everything from top to bottom to make sure the NFL has an equal hiring process.
“We want to see Black head coaches in the NFL,” Goodell said. “And coaches of people of color, and eventually gender. That we think is all important.”
Goodell said the league will look at the Rooney Rule — which requires teams to interview minority candidates for vacant head coaching roles — and will consider abolishing it if he thinks it’ll help lead to more diverse hirings.
Goodell also said they’ll look into adding and removing policies in an attempt to ensure teams are being all-inclusive in their searches for coaches.
“We’re going to talk to other people — have independent people come in and look and help us evaluate it — because it’s sometimes hard to evaluate your own policies and procedures,” Goodell said. “And make sure that we’re doing everything that we possibly can to create that opportunity for everybody to make sure that we are an inclusive league and make sure we get the outcomes that we want.”
The NFL currently has just two Black head coaches — Houston’s Lovie Smith and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin. Former 49ers coordinator Mike McDaniel — who is bi-racial — was also hired by the Dolphins last week.
Flores, meanwhile, was not hired by the eight teams with vacancies after he was fired by the Miami Dolphins — despite being considered arguably the best head coaching candidate on the market. He’s now suing the league, asking the court to fix the NFL’s alleged discriminatory hiring practices, in addition to damages.