Ex-Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has quickly gotten interview requests from 4 other teams, according to Profootballtalk.com. His team fell apart this year but his past successes include appearances in a Super Bowl and 3 NFC Championships. He has coached with class, kept his team pretty much scandal free (getting more difficult to do these days), and was well liked by his players. Though the Bears missed the playoffs, they still finished with a 10-6 record, so it’s understandable why teams would be quickly lining up to at least interview him. But reading the comments from the same story, many are immediately assuming that interest in Lovie is only because of the Rooney rule. This rule was put in place to increase the number of minority candidates for NFL coaching positions. Here are some of the comments:
“Lovie is a good head coach, the amount of interest at this point seems to be teams trying to get the “rooney rule” satisfied and out of the way up front before hiring the guy they really want.”
“My guess is the Rooney rule helps, and they’ll drop a quick “if we go another way, would you want to coach the D” question in there somewhere”
“I bet this is mostly Rooney rule interest. He didn’t “wow” anyone with his performance as the Bears HC.”
The Rooney rule has the best of intentions, as many coaches (and CEOS for that matter) can’t even get their foot in the door unless they know or are connected to the right people or social club. This highlights the problem with such Affirmative-Action programs: as long as they exist, every minority considered or selected will not be assumed to have made it based on their own merits and qualifications. This assumption is also reinforce anytime a selected minority candidate underperforms, no matter how many White candidates also may have underperformed. My overall position on Affirmative-Action and the Rooney rule is that I understand the need and purpose of such actions, but ultimately the goal should be to get to a point where such policies are no longer needed. These should not be long term programs. Of strongest concern is when Affirmative-Action programs result in certain applicants being selected because they are the right racial group for a quota and others being rejected, such as what is happening with colleges and universities currently. Discrimination, no matter which color is being benefitted, is not what the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. was aiming to achieve.