Commissioner Roger Goodell says NFL ‘fell short’ in hiring of minority head coaches

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he’s frustrated that the league is still facing questions about diversity in hiring of coaches and executives despite efforts to improve.

Goodell, in his annual Super Bowl news conference, on Wednesday said the league “fell short” in terms of increasing the number of minority head coaches this offseason with the league still having only five minority coaches after two were fired and two were hired this offseason.

He said the league will bring in experts to look at the Rooney Rule and other policies to see what the league can do to increase minority hiring.

The league has been under fire following a lawsuit alleging racism in hiring from former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores.

“We won’t tolerate racism,” Goodell said. “We won’t tolerate discrimination. If there are policies that we need to modify, we’re going to do that. If we’ve seen evidence of discrimination, we will deal with that in a very serious way that will reflect the fact that we won’t tolerate that.”

Goodell said the NFL can’t draw any conclusions yet on whether the interview process itself is flawed in trying to increase the number of minority coaches in the league. He said if the process is flawed, the league needs to know how to fix that.

The commissioner noted the NFL created a database providing owners with information on a variety of candidates. He said the NFL has looked at the process and isn’t taking anything off the table, saying he believes outside experts can be very helpful to the league.

Goodell said the league is “not doing a good enough job” in terms of increasing diversity at high-ranking positions on teams and in the league.

Goodell said the league believes in “diversity as a value” and has made the league stronger. He said the league will look to find other ways to improve the policies and procedures and determine what can be done to make sure teams and the league are “attracting the best talent.”

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