Within the span of the NFL’s existence, minorities and women being allotted job opportunities has been exceptionally rare. Now, according to CNN, it’s mandatory for the league to bring the underrepresented groups onboard.
The outlet reports that it’s now become a requirement for NFL teams to hire a minority or female offensive coach for the 2022 season. The announcement also included the league’s plans to expand on its Rooney Rule to help more women land front office roles, along with its new diversity committee with a “focus on senior-level coach and front office personnel positions.”
The timing for the changes in the NFL’s hiring protocol follows after the heat it’s gotten for its lack of diversity highlighted in Brian Flores’ filed lawsuit. As previously reported by AfroTech, the former Miami Dolphins head coach sued the league for “racism in hiring.”
“God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals,” Flores shared in a statement. “In making the decision to file the class action complaint today, I understand that I may be risking coaching the game that I love and that has done so much for my family and me. My sincere hope is that by standing up against systemic racism in the NFL, others will join me to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come.”
Before the new rule goes into full effect for the upcoming season, there were seven Black general managers and 12 women coaches at the start of the 2021 season.
“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, according to CNN.