Skip to main content

Fritz Pollard Alliance Wants NFL to Probe Raiders For Potential Rooney Rule Violation

Fritz Pollard Alliance calls for NFL to investigate Raiders hiring of Jon Gruden

An advocacy group that promotes diversity and equality of job opportunities for minorities in the NFL wants the Oakland Raiders investigated in what they call a violation of the league's Rooney Rule.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance says that the Raiders violated the rule when hiring Jon Gruden as their head coach. The Rooney Rule mandates that teams interview minority candidates for head coaching and other top executive positions.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Oakland Raiders’ owner, Mark Davis, came to an agreement with Jon Gruden about him becoming the Raiders’ next head coach before interviewing any candidates of color,” Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru, attorneys for the group, said in a written statement. “If so, the Club violated the Rooney Rule, which was instituted by the NFL in 2003 and requires teams to interview at least one candidate of color for open head coaching and general manager positions.

“As soon as we learned of the reports, we formally requested that the NFL thoroughly investigate the matter to conclusively determine whether the Rooney Rule was violated — and if it was violated, to impose an appropriate punishment.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis said he met with Gruden last month a week before the team fired Jack Del Rio after the team's season finale.

The Raiders say they abided by the rule by interviewing their tight ends coach, Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.