NFL teams must hire a minority offensive coach in upcoming season, league reports
(Gray News) - The NFL will require all of its professional football teams to hire a minority coach or a female as an offensive assistant starting in the 2022 season.
Earlier this week, the league made the announcement as team owners gathered in Florida for the annual league meeting.
Among the NFL’s initiatives to enhance opportunities for minority coaching candidates, teams will now be required to hire a minority coach as an offensive assistant, as reported by the NFL Network’s Judy Battista.
The NFL reports it is also looking at having teams invite staff members to league events. It’s an idea Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera said he believes would help the cause since it would allow minority candidates to get acquainted with decision-makers in more relaxed settings.
“We’ve worked for years and made progress in many areas to ensure that staff and leaders in our office and at our clubs reflect the racial and gender makeup of America, but we have more work to do, particularly at the head coach and front-office level,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
League officials also said the NFL is putting together a committee to review its diversity hiring practices.
The diversity advisory committee includes business leaders, academics and former Houston Texans GM Rick Smith.
According to the NFL Network, the group will review league and club policies in light of ongoing concerns over a lack of diversity in hiring.
“The National Football League announced the creation of the NFL Diversity Advisory Committee, following its pledge last month to retain outside experts to review the league’s diversity policies and practices,” the league said in a news release. “The six-member committee will lend its expert, external perspective on industry best practices and will evaluate league and club diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies and initiatives, including all hiring processes, policies and procedures, with a primary focus on senior-level coach and front office personnel positions.
The 32 clubs released a joint statement Monday regarding their commitment to increasing diversity among ownership:
“The NFL member clubs support the important goal of increasing diversity among ownership. Accordingly, when evaluating a prospective ownership group of a member club pursuant to League policies, the membership will regard it as a positive and meaningful factor if the group includes diverse individuals who would have a significant equity stake in and involvement with the club, including serving as the controlling owner of the club.”
According to the NFL, other diversity, equity and inclusion-related changes are expected before the January 2023 hiring cycle.
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