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NFL Announces New Policies to Attempt to Increase Diversity in the League

The NFL announced Tuesday new policies designed to increase employment opportunities and advancement for minorities and women throughout the league, NFL.com reports.

The league changed the current anti-tampering policy to prohibit a team from denying an assistant coach an opportunity to interview with a new team for a “bona fide” coordinator role. Nor can a non high-level/non-secondary football executive be prohibited from interviewing for a “bona fide” assistant GM job. Any dispute on if a team is offering a “bona fide” position will be decided on by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Teams also have been instructed to “submit in writing an organizational reporting structure for the coaching staff with job descriptions for any coach who is a coordinator or co-coordinator within that structure.”

“The NFL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which I believe is critical to our continued success,” Goodell said in a statement. “While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more. The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league.”

The league also officially announced changes to the Rooney Rule.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday the league will require clubs to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching openings and at least one minority candidate for any coordinator job.

In addition, teams must interview one external minority candidate for senior football operations and general manager jobs. Teams and the NFL league office must also include minorities and/or female applicants for senior-level positions, including club president jobs

“We believe these new policies demonstrate the NFL owners’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the NFL,” said Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman of the league’s workplace diversity committee. “The development of young coaches and young executives is a key to our future. These steps will assure coaching and football personnel are afforded a fair and equitable opportunity to advance throughout our football operations. We also have taken important steps to ensure that our front offices, which represent our clubs in so many different ways, come to reflect the true diversity of our fans and our country.”

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