Sometime this weekend, Leslie Frazier interviewed for the “open” head coach position with the Seattle Seahawks.
On the surface, a black man interviewing for the head job might look like a good thing, but in this instance it’s truly not.
Seattle has already identified and negotiated a contract with their next head coach. His name is not Leslie Frazier, but because of a little ditty called the Rooney Rule, the charade that is bringing in a minority candidate to interview for the position must happen before they can finalize with the guy they really want.
We’ve all been there before, you’ve gotten a call for an interview for a job that is supposedly open. They seem really interested in hiring you, until they see what you look like.
This is so opposite of that. Imagine getting a call for an interview KNOWING you’re being used to comply with an antiquated rule.
Are you doing it to “put your name out there?” How many Rooney Rulers have ever actually gotten a job after going on a “mandatory” interview?
Are you showing other owners that you’re a “team guy” by taking one for someone else’s team?
The logic of why anyone would agree to interview for a job that’s not open is beyond my scope of understanding, but it does underline that this rule needs to die. It’s a slap in the face to a candidate who very well may be qualified for the position, but is just going in so the team owner can show “good faith” and avoid sanctions.
I’m not mad at the league for recognizing that there was a strong disparity with hiring minority (read: black) head coaches, and trying to do something about it. It’s noble, but the problem is that you can’t legislate emotions or prejudices, and really-if a black coach came in and won, every team would be looking to get one.
Forcing folks to interview minority candidates who don’t have a chance in hell of getting the job is so not the way. It’s a slap in the face, especially since the only Rooney Rulers hired so far have been associated with the Rooney family themselves or Tony Dungy.
How would you feel if you knew you were being called in for an interview only so a deal could be finalized with the person they’ve already identified and worked out hiring details with?
Does personal pride come into play? Do you get this call and think in your own mind you can sway the powers that be into picking you over the big name they’ve been talking to behind the scenes for weeks?
It’s sad that a rule like this even had to be put in place, but I’ll save my anti establishment rhetoric for another time. This is just damn wrong, and it needs to change. I just wonder if the “tokens” are ever going to be strong/brave/crazy enough to say enough is enough.
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