Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, and multiple team owners meet with civil right leaders to discuss diversity when hiring

NEW YORK — The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with a few executives and team owners Thursday to discuss civil rights leaders. They urged the league's hiring practices to increase diversity in leadership positions.

Goodell was joined by Pittsburgh SteelersArt Rooney II, president Atlanta FalconsArthur Blank, chairman and owner. Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell, Baltimore Ravens executive vice president Ozzie Newsome, Houston TexansJavier Loya (limited partner) and other top NFL executives.

Marc H. Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, told the group that the NFL's recent focus on racial equality and social justice has not yet led to improved hiring procedures for league head coaches.

This offseason saw nine openings for head coach, two of which were filled by minorities: Mike McDaniel who is biracial and LovieSmith who is African American. Lovie Smith took over David Culley, also Black. This brought the total number of minority head coaches up to five, with three Black.

McDaniel has replaced Brian Flores who named the league, the three teams, and the Dolphins. Denver BroncosAnd New York Giants– In a class-action lawsuit, earlier this month, alleging unfair employment practices in the NFL.

Morial stated that the NFL has “produced an amazing pool of Black coaches talent that owners routinely ignored when filling their top jobs.” “We are determined to work with the owners and league to bring the spirit ‘Inspire change' to the head coaches rosters.”

Rev. Charles Morial, National Action Network founder and CEO, was also present at Morial's side. Al Sharpton was joined by Derrick Johnson (NAACP president, CEO), Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation president, CEO, and Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner (National African American Clergy Network coordinator).

The league was challenged by civil rights leaders to set goals for diversity recruitment and hiring. They called for the establishment of an advisory committee that would make recommendations and set guidelines to the NFL.

Thursday's meeting was continuation of last week's discussion in which civil rights leaders urged the NFL to repeal the Rooney Rule. It was created in 2003 and requires that teams interview candidates of color to fill senior positions in football operations and head coaching.

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