Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones has publicly acknowledged the NFL and its groups can do a greater job of hiring extra numerous candidates.
Jones’ feedback — made Wednesday as he attended a Senior Bowl observe in Cell, Ala. — got here in response to former Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit in opposition to the league. The swimsuit, filed within the Southern District of New York, alleges the NFL willfully engages in discriminatory hiring practices, specifically head teaching, coordinator and govt positions.
The swimsuit additionally accuses groups of conducting sham interviews merely to stick to the league’s Rooney Rule, which mandates at the least two exterior minority hires for head teaching, coordinator and govt positions.
MORE: Brian Flores lawsuit, defined: Former Dolphins coach sues NFL, groups for discriminatory hiring practices
“I can see it’s an space, certainly one of many, that we will do higher,” Jones mentioned Wednesday (through USA In the present day). “The world has some good consideration. That is apparent for those who look by means of that that the league and coaches are attempting to enhance there.”
Flores in his swimsuit claimed to have obtained “sham” interviews with the Broncos in 2019 and once more with the Giants in 2021. Particularly, he claimed Patriots coach Invoice Belichick texted him — seemingly pondering he was speaking to Payments offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — to congratulate him on getting the Giants job. Flores had but to interview for the place.
Jones declined to talk immediately on Flores’ accusations in opposition to different groups, however mentioned that because the Cowboys’ proprietor and normal supervisor, he’s conscious of dialogue surrounding extra numerous hires inside the league.
“I feel the truth that it’s a difficulty reveals not solely the league’s willingness to handle and do higher,” Jones mentioned. “I feel the truth that it’s being mentioned as to how the Rooney Rule or what drives the Rooney Rule might be higher. Within the case of coach Flores’ criticism, he’s saying it might be higher and the processes create constructive end result for the league.”
The NFL, nonetheless, vehemently denied Flores’ claims, which it mentioned had been “with out advantage.”
“The NFL and our golf equipment are deeply dedicated to making sure equitable practices and proceed to make progress in offering equitable alternatives all through our organizations. Variety is core to every little thing we do, and there are few points through which our golf equipment and inside management crew spend extra time. We’ll defend in opposition to these claims, that are with out advantage.”
MORE: What’s the Rooney Rule? Explaining NFL mandate to interview minority candidates, its effectiveness and criticisms
The NFL had three Black head coaches throughout the 2021 season: Flores, David Culley of the Texans and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers. Following the conclusion of the common season, Flores and Culley had been each fired, leaving Tomlin as the one Black NFL coach. The NFL had two lively Black coaches in 2003, the season through which the Rooney Rule was applied by the league.
The one different lively minority coaches are the Commanders’ Ron Rivera and Jets’ Robert Saleh.
Conversely, roughly 70 % of the NFL’s gamers are Black. However there are solely two minority house owners, neither of them Black. Simply six of the league’s normal managers are Black.
MORE: Brian Flores lawsuit: Dolphins proprietor Stephen Ross says claims are ‘false, malicious and defamatory’
The Cowboys have by no means had a Black coach and haven’t had a Black coordinator since defensive coordinator Brian Stewart (2007-08, beneath Wade Phillips). Whereas Jones mentioned the league has made headway in making extra numerous hires, he admitted the usual for that may improve over time.
“We’re a league of many packing containers, of all types, in lots of, many areas,” Jones mentioned. “I by no means dreamed we might examine as many packing containers as we will examine. However the extra we turn into substantive — and we’re much more substantive as a league and as a sport than we ever had been after I obtained concerned 30-something years in the past — and we’re extra pertinent and extra germane than we had been 10 years in the past. The extra that occurs, the extra packing containers we’re going to have come up that we have to examine.