Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask: Owners, ‘Do the Right Thing’

Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask says she hopes owners continue to do the right thing by diversifying senior leadership roles

Of the latest NFL hiring cycle, only one minority candidate has been hired as a head coach: Robert Saleh with the New York Jets.

The remaining vacancies, while a diverse group of two first-time head coaches, two recent defensive coordinators, one tight ends coach and a college coach with no NFL experience, are all white male head coaches.

While it shouldn’t be a surprise that the majority of coaches in the NFL remain white males simply due to the history of coaching staffs, former Raiders CEO Amy Trask says teams aren’t doing enough to give minority coaches more opportunities to get hired in senior leadership.

“I'm thrilled with some of what we have seen and disappointed with some of what we have seen,” Trask said Friday on NFL Now. "I don't think it should take rules to compel people to do the right thing but there are rules in place and one can only hope that these teams continue to do the right things without being compelled to do it, but we have not seen that enough."

Three years ago, there were a record-high eight minority head coaches in the NFL. Today, there are only four minority head coaches.

However, of the seven general manager openings this off-season, three went to Black candidates.

There are currently five minorities who serve as a general manager in the NFL.

"The league is simply a compilation of 32 separate businesses owned by 32 separate ownership groups,” Trask said. “So, people can talk about what the league should do, and that's important, but it's up to each of these team ownership groups to do the right thing."

While the NFL recently adopted a proposal rewarding teams that lose a minority coach or executive to a head coach or general manager position with a third-round pick for two consecutive years and for three years if a minority coach is lost for an executive to head coach and general manager role, it’s still not enough in Trask’s eyes.

In addition, the league expanded the Rooney Rule last summer, requiring teams to interview at least two external minority coaches for a head coach position and one external minority coach for a coordinator position.

Finally, an option that can benefit all candidates including minorities is to postpone interviews for job vacancies until after the Super Bowl. This suggestion was originally made by Saints head coach Sean Payton.

"There is absolutely no good reason not to postpone interviews until after the Super Bowl," Trask said. "No team should be allowed to interview anyone until after the Super Bowl. It is not fair to the teams who are in the playoffs and it is not fair to the coaches who are coaching for the best teams that go the deepest in the playoffs."

Trask served as the Raiders CEO between 1997 and 2013. She was involved in all non-football business matters and operations for the team. She also represented the Silver and Black at league meetings.

Nicknamed the “Princess of Darkness” during her time with the Raiders, she remains the league’s first and only female to serve as a team CEO.

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