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Racism in employment comprises a major challenge in the United States of America. It can be intentional or unconscious. It occurs when members of a particular are excluded from the recruitment process. It further manifests itself when an individual with the necessary credentials is overlooked because of their racial profile. Racism in sports is not an uncommon phenomenon. In games such as football, soccer, basketball and athletics there have been more than one incidences of racism.
The Rooney Rule was determined in 2003. It was intended to protect the interests of coaches from minority groups in football (Collins, 2007). The rule was established in response to the unfair treatment that African-American coaches were being subjected to vis-à-vis their white counterparts. The rule was created to ensure that African American coaches would also be included for the high-level coaching positions in teams that played in the prestigious National Football League (NFL). Before the rule, there were fewer than ten African coaches to have coached teams that were in the NFL. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Since the establishment of the Rooney Rule, there have been major changes in the football game with regards to the coaching staff. By the time the rule was coming into practice, there had only been seven individuals from minority communities to have held coaching positions in the NFL. However, since the introduction of the rule, twelve coaches from minority groups had been hired to act as head coaches (Hunt & Onwere, 2014). This shows that more and more African-American coaches are being considered for leadership positions courtesy of their credentials. This was not the case in the past. Likewise, by the year 2014, at least one coach from a minority group had participated in the Super Bowls. Essentially, at least one team in the Super Bowl was being coached by an African-American. The Super Bowl in 2007 comprised the first significant football match to have been exclusively contested between two African American coaches (Hunt & Onwere, 2014).

Given its non-profit nature, the NCAA cannot adopt the Rooney Rule in appointing coaches to head college football teams. The NFL is a for-profit organization which is legally empowered to enforce the policies addressed in the Rooney Rule. Unlike the NFL, NCAA is made up of voluntary members. It is impossible for the association to influence the hiring processes of coaches within the college setting (Pike, 2011). Regardless of the non-binding relationship that coaches have to the NCAA, it is necessary to create a policy framework that encourages the hiring of African American coaches. In the absence of such a binding framework, coaches from minority groups will continue to be overlooked in the hiring processes. For instance, currently over 80% of the head coaches in Divisions, I, II and III, come from the White community. This translates to fewer opportunities for members of the black community.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

Ethically, it would be wrong to enforce any legal burdens on voluntary members. Given that the groups that make up non-profit groups earn no revenue from their activities in the subject association, it is inadmissible that rules should be imposed on them. It would be unethical to interfere with the internal processes of voluntary members. One risks pushing the members away. Furthermore, legal frameworks protect voluntary members from such exploitations. Thus, an imposition of the Rooney Rule on non-profit organizations borders on criminal behavior. This constitutes unethical practices.

There have been additional measures which have been instituted in the Rooney Rule framework. These additional measures are meant to further reduce the potential racial employment discrimination in sports. These additional measures are necessary. From a personal perspective, they will further serve to protect individuals from minority groups against racial discrimination in sports. Currently, over 80% of leadership roles in American sports is limited to members of the White community (Pike, 2011). To attain a similar position, coaches from minority groups have to work marginally harder than their counterparts from the White race. The rules will allow for the increased participation of coaches from minority groups in coaching and the front office (Brown, 2009). The more stringent the rules are, the more likely it is that the NFL and other sporting organizations will adhere to them. Whereas previously, the rules majorly aimed to encourage the participation of coaches from minority groups in the interview process, the rules will encourage the hiring of the subjects. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Conclusively, the Rooney Rule has had a positive impact on the football sport. There is the need to create a national framework that will address the interests of African American coaches in the sporting fraternities. Recent times have seen increased participation in sports by members of the African American communities. Consequently, there is need to ensure that they are given equal opportunity in the leadership of sports.


Brown, S. (2009). Rooney Rule is expanded to front office. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 1-3. Retrieved September 2, 2016

Collins, B. W. (2007). Tackling Unconscious Bias in Hiring Practices: The Plight of the Rooney Rule. NYU, 82(870), 870-912.

Pike, J. (2011). From the Rooney Rule to the Robinson Rule: NCAA Football and the Quest for Equal Opportunity in Head Coaching. Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race, 3, 29-53.

Proxmire, D. C. (2008). Coaching Diversity: The Rooney Rule, Its Application, and Ideas for Expansion. American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, 1-9.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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