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No, the Rooney Rule does not require NFL teams to hire minority candidates

However, they must at least be interviewed and considered for jobs.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As another Super Bowl has come and gone, there are still a lot of eyes on the NFL when it comes to diversity and hiring.

The Rooney Rule came into the spotlight when former Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams over discriminatory practices. Once the condition of the Rooney Rule is to interview Minority candidates for several top positions, including the head coach.

However, Flores said teams don't always take those interviews seriously.

This has a lot of people asking questions about the rule.

THE QUESTION:

Does the Rooney Rule require NFL teams to hire minority candidates? 

OUR SOURCES:

THE ANSWER: 

This is false.

No, the Rooney Rule does not require NFL teams to hire minority candidates. However, they must at least be interviewed and considered for jobs. 

WHAT WE FOUND: 

First, what is the Rooney Rule? 

It resulted from a committee in the NFL performed in 2003 to look at hiring practices.

According to the NFL, it's a policy that requires every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one diverse candidate. 

In 2009 the NFL expanded the policy to include general manager positions. 

In 2018 they expanded requirements to strengthen the rule, including maintaining complete records and providing them to the league upon the commissioner's request. 

Then in 2021, the NFL began requiring every team to interview at least two external minority candidates for open head coaching positions and at least one external minority candidate for any coordinator job. Additionally, at least one minority and/or female candidate must be interviewed for senior-level positions, which include club president.

Professor Cameron told us the rule is important to push for representation. Of the 32 teams in the NFL, there are only five minority head coaches, right not. 

"Look at most of the players for the NFL if you look historically, the percentage of coaches has not mirrored the percentage of black players and minorities that you see," Cameron said. 

However, there is nothing in the rule that states minority candidates must be hired. 

"They are not required to hire that person, but they are required to at least interview one," Mauney said.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify. 

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