SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will implement a “Rooney Rule” requiring that women be interviewed for executive positions with teams around the league and in his own office, too.
Goodell made the announcement Thursday in his opening remarks at the first NFL Women’s Summit, part of Super Bowl 50.
“We believe in diversity,” Goodell said. “We believe we’re better as an organization when we have good people at the table. We have great people at the table. We’re also seeing it on the field. ...
“You can see that progress is being made and our commitment is, we have something called the Rooney Rule, which requires us to make sure when we have an opening that on the team or the league level that we are going to interview a diverse slate of candidates,” Goodell said. “Well, we’re going to make that commitment and we’re going to formalize that we, as a league, are going to do that for women as well in all of our executive positions. Again, we’re going to keep making progress here and make a difference.”
The Bills hired the NFL’s first full-time female assistant coach last month, Kathryn Smith, as special teams quality control coach.
That move comes after Jen Welter coached the Cardinals’ inside linebackers during Arizona’s training camp last summer, while Sarah Thomas became the league’s first female official this past season.
Former Oakland CEO Amy Trask, the NFL’s first female CEO, said on Twitter, “I think this should be the Al Davis rule,” referring to the late Raiders owner who put his faith in her decades ago when he wasn’t even required to do so.
“I am bothered and saddened that there is a need for a rule to do what is right and what is smart,” Trask, now a CBS analyst and working the Super Bowl, told The Associated Press. “I had the privilege and pleasure of working for a man who needed no rule to evaluate people without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and other such characteristics.”