When the Law Won’t Work: The US National Football League’s extra-judicial approach to addressing employment discrimination in coaching
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The Rooney Rule story teaches the importance of the opportunity to get into the proverbial room to make one’s case, but it also teaches the importance of creative approaches to encouraging equal opportunity. While a lawsuit can be a powerful tool in this realm, various circumstances may thwart its use. An employment discrimination claim for a head coach of a professional sports club presents a unique circumstance. The nature of the National Football League (NFL) coaching employment context rendered Title VII, the United States’ bell-weather employment discrimination statute, essentially inapplicable. Like Coca-Cola, the NFL was widely regarded as a conservative organization, and like Coca-Cola, the power positions in the NFL – including head coach – were overwhelmingly white. Mehri believed diverse candidate slates were well suited to the NFL context and anticipated they could assist in diversifying the NFL’s head coaching ranks just as they had diversified Coca-Cola’s executive ranks.
Taylor & Francis
Sports law, Rooney Rule, NFL
Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law | Law
Duru, N. Jeremi, "When the Law Won’t Work: The US National Football League’s extra-judicial approach to addressing employment discrimination in coaching" (2020). Contributions to Books. 258.