The National Football League (NFL) is hoping to attract more women and minorities with its latest mandate! The professional sports league announced a policy enhancement on Monday that’ll open doors for women and minorities in coaching positions, according to ESPN.
Teams must hire “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority” for the offensive assistant coach position. The policy affects the coaching staff for the 2022 football season. NFL owners agreed on the policy during an annual meeting.
Apparently, a league-wide fund will pay the salary of the hired offensive coaches. In the league’s statement, officials stated the NFL will reimburse their teams up to $200,000 from that fund to cover costs. This number will increase to $205,000 in 2023.
Now, this isn’t like applying for any ole gig. To be a candidate, a person must have at least three years of collegiate or professional football coaching experience. Those hired will land a one-year contract which includes salary pay and benefits.
An Additional Requirement
But the change doesn’t only impact the hiring. The policy also requires that the new coaches work closely with the head coach and offensive staff. ESPN reports that the goal is to increase the presence of minorities in the offensive coaches pool.
Being in that pool of people matters for those who aspire to land head-coaching positions. Apparently, the “most-sought after candidates” for those lead positions comes from the offensive coaches pool. Art Rooney II confirmed this notion. Art owns the Pittsburgh Steelers and chairs the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.
“It’s a recognition that at the moment, when you look at stepping stones for a head coach, they are the coordinator positions,” Art said per ESPN. “We clearly have a trend where coaches are coming from the offensive side of the ball in recent years, and we clearly do not have as many minorities in the offensive coordinator [job].”
NFL Chief Administrative Officer Dasha Smith said the league will credit teams who have one or more coaches in similar roles.
The NFL previously adopted a rule designed for hiring equity called the Rooney Rule. It’s a 2003 initiative that requires at least two “external minorities” be interviewed for head coach openings. Also, at least one minority must be interviewed for a coordinator position.
Well, ESPN says Monday’s update is the first time the league has issued a hiring mandate in the initiative’s history.
League data reportedly says that minority coaches in the league went up to 39 percent this year from 35 percent in 2021. Twelve women hold positions on coaching staffs.
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