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Tom Rooney, Alcee Hastings Want to Bring the NFL's 'Rooney Rule' Nationwide

February 1, 2017 - 8:45am
Tom Rooney and Alcee Hastings
Tom Rooney and Alcee Hastings

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., who is closely related to the family which owns the National Football League’s (NFL) Pittsburgh Steelers, wants to take the “Rooney Rule” nationwide. 

Rooney teamed up with U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., on Tuesday to sponsor a resolution “which will encourage fair hiring practices to provide minorities with a fair opportunity to participate.”

The Florida Republican’s team showcased the “Rooney Rule” to support the congressman’s efforts. 

“The Rooney Rule, formulated by Daniel Rooney – uncle of Congressman Rooney and chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team – requires each NFL team with a job opening for a coach or general manager position to interview at least one minority candidate for that position,” Congressman Rooney’s office noted. “Established in the NFL in 2003, the purpose of this rule was to ensure that minority coaches, especially African Americans, would be considered for high level coaching positions. After its implementation, the percentage of African American coaches in the NFL rose from 6 percent to 22 percent as a result of the rule.”
Rooney’s resolution would  “encourage the development of best business practices to fully utilize the potential of the United States.” 

“The resolution states that the House encourages each corporate, academic and social entity, regardless of size or field of operation to first, develop an internal rule modeled after a successful business practice, such as the Rooney Rule, in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and; second, to institute this rule to make sure that the entity will always consider candidates from underrepresented populations before making final hiring decisions,” Rooney’s office stated. “The resolution does not create or alter federal law, it simply encourages corporate, academic and social entities to develop internal rules similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule. This resolution is non-binding and is not something that will be sent to the president. The intention is meant to inspire companies to widen their pool of job applicants, but it is does not mandate quotas or regulations on whom a business interviews or hires.”

On Tuesday, Rooney explained why he brought out the resolution. 
“The success we have seen from the Rooney Rule in the NFL is evidence that people of all genders, colors, and physical abilities can achieve excellence when given the chance,” Rooney said. “We hope this resolution encourages the private sector to emulate the policy and put into place their own voluntary initiatives for a more diverse pool of applicants for senior and leadership positions.”

Hastings noted the bipartisan support for the resolution. In the Senate, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, is spearheading the proposal with Republicans Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rob Portman of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida and Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Kamala Harris of California as co-sponsors. 
“It is important that we continue working to ensure a level playing field for minorities and underrepresented groups in companies and organizations across the country,” Hastings said. “I am pleased to join with Congressman Tom Rooney in introducing this bipartisan resolution.  Furthermore, I also want to thank Senator Tim Scott for introducing the companion resolution in the Senate, and for his steadfast commitment of moving this critically important issue forward.  It is my sincere hope that we will see swift passage of this measure in both chambers.”



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It is an attempt to stop institutional racism. I'm sure when policy is written it will be for larger corporations which may have old school racist bias and that needs to end. Hooray for a republican introducing heartfelt good spirited legislation!

Let's not pretend that the best man or woman for the job is always hired. Let's not pretend that racism, sexism etc doesn't or hasn't existed. It can't be "victimism" if you actually are the victim. All this proposal does is recommend that a business hiring individual interview qualified minorities. They don't have to hire, just interviewed. What is the fear, that one of these candidates may shine more in the interviewing process. That they might get the job, and do an exceptional at it. To be against this rule is evidence of the problem. Business will always take care of itself.

Clearly a display of "having too much time on my hands" for Rep. Rooney. Here's the chink (no pun intended) in your armor with that poorly thought out concept. First of all positions in the NFL are sought after by hundreds of "qualified" people, Rep Rooney (the operative word her is "qualified") It appears that you have very little understanding of the business world especially small business's and what they go through hiring employees. My business consists of 8 in house employees and 40-50 indirect employees. My head person and partner is a female, not that I'm pandering to minority status but because she was the most qualified person to take control of my business after I retired. What you allude to is if there is a candidate, say a carpenter (minority) that is good knows his trade like a coach that has a resume of accomplishments why would I hire someone over him? The labor pool for good choices isn't deep like in the NFL. The education level of the average worker being hired by small businesses isn't like the NFL draft! Grated there are many lunkheads that play pro ball that I'll give you but that's because they're good at what they do which segues into the quotation word "qualified." You are wading into the civil rights arena. If you want to go there then here's something you should champion. Why is it when I watch basketball there are mostly black players on the teams? Why not have a quota of what players. Why is the Steelers team rich with black players? I wanted to play pro football as a receiver but I'm not 6' or taller? There isn't quotas in sports is there? Why? Because you take only the best and that's what happens in the real world of business. Rep. Rooney spend your time getting this country back on track and not wasting taxpayers money on superfluous ideas that embrace feel-good "ism." Your uncle's idea for hiring staff is noble however, I serious doubt that it will fly in the business world. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has seen to that. I'm sure you can find a cause to place your name on a bill this one will be an albatross for you.

Here’s a few thoughts. The problem with your argument is the word “QUALIFIED.” A person that has played 10, 12, 14 or more years in the NFL and graduated from Stanford, Yale, USC, Penn State, University of Texas or Notre Dame, you think would should have the technical skills and education to coach at the NFL level. But that’s not the problem. White America has this vision that leaders are white and workers are black and Latino. This is true at the high school and college levels. I’ve had white administrator’s say to me with a straight face; “African Americans are good workers, not leaders.” Back to being qualified – what makes a person qualified to be a coach? It’s based on the individual that’s doing the hiring. Look at high schools and colleges – it’s the good-old-boy system. If I had an African American son, I wouldn’t let him go to a high school or college that did not have a black head coach or one that was the first assistant coach. This is the only way you are going to force white America to even the playing field. And that’s why I support parents being able to pick the public school their child attends. Also, you are actually referencing to the number of black players in the NBA. The NBA is composed of 74.4 percent black players, 23.3 percent white players, 1.8 percent Latino players, and 0.2 percent Asian players. The NFL is composed of 67.3 percent of percent black players, 31 percent white players, .7 percent Asian Pacific Islander players, 0.6 percent Latino players and 2 percent International and Other players. What does the number of black to white players have to do with your coaching logic? Based on these numbers, 70 percent of the coaches in the NBA and NFL should be black. And the low number of white players in the NBA is not a quota system, but a skill based system, as the NFL. As with the NHL, there’s a low number of black players (for the most part) because of availability of talent. The business models for the NBA and NFL are not based on a black or white quota system, like it was in the 50’s and 60’s. Now it’s based on the best players that can help get the team to the championship and make the team a profit. The bottom-line is that you are one of those Americans that want an open non- quota system for white America, but quotas that limit access and success for everyone else. This sounds like Steve Bannon’s Silicon Valley argument. Get over it and learn to live with all Americans. This county belongs all White (European) Americans, African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Native American Indians, Native Alaskan Americans, Native Hawaiian Americans and others; and no one is going anywhere.

Be careful Tom, lest Alcee's bad tendencies infect you; We get that you're in it due to family "connections",.. and minority votes. BUT what's Alcee in it for?..... Typically it's $$$$$$ (and maybe this time also for Game Tickets,.. which are worth $$$$$$$). Get the hell out of football, Boys; YOUR employer is "We The People", and your job is "representing" THEM, and not always trying "to get over on them"!!

The government is not supposed to make any rule or laws that favor one person or group of person's over another. This rule should not be done!!!!

Let me understand -the government is not supposed to make any rule or laws that favor one person or group of person's over another, but White America can. Is this what you are saying?

...and if anyone knows what crap is, your business should know!

What an absolute load of crap!!! Successful business hires the best candidates for jobs available without regard for race. Perhaps these professional victim seekers should look inside their own house, with its wasteful, bloated, overly regulated quagmire that is $20 trillion in debt and learn a thing from businesses like mine that keep costs down, hire the best and brightest, turn a profit, and give the public something of value other than the same old tired racial crap and victimhood.

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