Advocacy Group Asks NFL To Investigate Raiders For Potential Rooney Rule Violation

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The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group devoted to promoting diversity in NFL front offices and coaching staffs, has asked the league to investigate the Raiders for potentially violating the Rooney Rule when they hired Jon Gruden as head coach last week.

The Raiders have already said that they believe they fulfilled the rule—which requires teams to interview minority candidates for vacant senior positions—by interviewing current tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin. But the Fritz Pollard Alliance is concerned that the team only set those interviews up after they already had a handshake agreement in place with Gruden.

Team owner Mark Davis met with Gruden a week before firing Del Rio, and he’s since said that he knew Gruden was “all-in” on the job from the time of that meeting. Though a week passed between when Del Rio was fired and when Gruden was officially announced as his replacement, there never seemed to be much public question that Gruden would be the one taking the gig.


Davis has been open—extremely so—about the fact that he badly wanted Gruden, which should be enough for anyone to reasonably question whether conversations with other candidates were actually held in anything resembling good faith. (It certainly doesn’t seem so!) Landing conclusive proof that neither Johnson nor Martin ever had a shot in their interviews, though, is something trickier.