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National Football League confirms Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

National Football League confirms Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes diversity in National Football League coaching, front office and scouting jobs and whose chairman, John Wooten, initially said he believed the Raiders complied with the Rooney Rule, disagreed with the NFL's findings in a strongly-worded statement.

The Rooney Rule was established in 2003 to give minority candidates an equal opportunity when teams hire head coaches and other management positions.

"We don't want to change the rule", Mehri said in a phone interview.

This led to the creation of a group of scouts, National Football League minority coaches and front office personnel who were dedicated to advocating for more minority representation in managerial positions in the NFL. The group issued a statement Friday, saying it "strongly disagrees" with the NFL's ruling. While it is not questioned that these candidates were interviewed, the contention is that it had already been decided that Gruden was to be hired and that the minority candidates were only brought in to technically satisfy the Rooney Rule while violating its spirit. Under current procedures, a team immediately reports to the league any interview conducted with an employee of another team.

So how can teams essentially line up the next coach without running afoul of the Rooney Rule? His hiring was first reported on December 31, before the club interviewed two minority candidates for the position. It was probably for the best as Sumlin has coached exclusively at the college level.

"We'd like to use this to really push hard to strengthen the rule and strengthen the opportunities", Mehri said.

"In his enthusiasm to hire Jon Gruden, Raiders' owner Mark Davis failed to fulfil his obligation under the rule and should step forward and acknowledge he violated the rule". After successfully advocating for the rule which would be named after Dan Rooney, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steeler and the then head of the NFL Diversity Committee.

It was thought that the Raiders had complied with this after Oakland's general manager, Reggie McKenzie interviewed the team's tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin before announcing that John Gruden was to be appointed on January 6. The league should have disciplined Raiders owner Mark Davis, according to the group, which also said that Davis should have acknowledged that he'd violated the rule.

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