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Publication Date

May 2012


Over the course of the past decade, the racial complexion of the National Football League's ("NFL's") head coaching ranks has dramatically changed. For the bulk of the NFL's existence, it was virtually impossible for an African American to land a head coaching position. Whether as a result of "old boy" networking or stereotypical suppositions that African Americans lacked the intellectual capacity required to lead, manage, and teach a team of professional football players, African Americans toiled in assistant coaching positions for their entire careers with virtually no hope of ascending to the top spot.' Beginning in December of 2002, however, the NFL's leadership convinced team owners to bind themselves to a diverse candidate-slate interviewing process-a process under which every team seeking to hire a new head coach would be required to grant a meaningful interview to at least one candidate of color before filling the position

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