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NFL Adds Women To ‘Rooney Rule’ Language, Mandates Teams Hire Diverse Offensive Assistant

The NFL announced Monday that it would be adding women to the Rooney Rule that has been the Shield’s way of diversifying the workforce around the league. That’s right, diversity, diversity, diversity.

Tired of having diversity beaten into your head? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Starting with the 2022 season, all 32 teams will be required to hire a diverse person as an offensive assistant. That diverse hire can be a woman, “or a member of an ethnic or racial minority,” the league said in its policy change.

This will be the first hiring mandate in the history of the Rooney Rule which was adopted by the league in 2003. The initial idea behind the Rooney Rule was to require every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview a minority candidate.

Offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers of the San Francisco 49ers looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Now, in 2022, the league has progressed to the point where it will now require an offensive assistant to fill a quota. Why the offensive side? The league says it’s because that’s where owners are pulling their head coaches from, so the quota was placed on that side of the operation.

“This person will receive a one-year contract and work closely with the head coach and offensive staff to gain experience. Clubs will receive reimbursement from a league-wide fund towards the coach’s salary for up to 2 years.

“In recent years, head coaches have predominantly had offensive backgrounds. We believe this resolution will assist greatly in continuing to source and identify diverse candidates earlier in their career, providing pipeline depth and furthering developing the diverse offensive pipeline.”

As of the beginning of the 2021 season, there were 12 females in coaching positions. The Chiefs, Washington Commanders and the Bills had women serving in offensive assistant coach positions.

Katie Sowers Assistant Running Backs Coach Chiefs
Jennifer King Assistant Running Backs Coach Washington
Lori Locust Assistant Defensive Line Coach Buccaneers
Sophia Lewin Offensive Assistant Coach Bills
Callie Brownson Chief of Staff Browns
Emily Zaler Player Performance Assistant Broncos
Maral Javadifar Strength & Conditioning Coach/Physical Therapist Buccaneers
Jada Gipson* Defensive Backs Intern Browns
Alex Hanna Receivers Intern/Defensive Quality Control Coach Browns
Tessa Grossman* Intern Falcons
Heather Marini* Intern Buccaneers
Angellica Grayson Linebackers Intern Washington

Gipson, Grossman and Marini also worked for college football teams.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

2 Comments

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  1. Does anyone else see this as Racism. Mandating that the organizations that only thrive because of meritocracy should lower their standards to insure a diversity filled offensive coaching staff.
    “Yes I’m hiring you even though your credentials aren’t what this other persons are.”
    I want my team to have the best of the best. Man/Woman/White/Black/ Brown/Polka-Dot.
    In this league winning is everything NOT a balanced staff.
    We will never hear a fan say, “this is my favorite team because their management and staff positions are so diverse”

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