NFL Officially Looking Into if the Raiders Violated the ‘Rooney Rule’ in Hiring Gruden

The NFL said Thursday it will investigate whether the Raiders violated the “Rooney Rule” when they hired Jon Gruden as coach, the Associated Press reports.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance called for the investigation on Wednesday out of concern that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates as required by the NFL since 2003.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement that the NFL will “look into this.”

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of NFL teams.

Davis said Tuesday at the news conference introducing Gruden as the team’s new coach that he had been trying to make the move for six years and finally believed it would happen after a meeting in Philadelphia on Christmas Eve, the day before Gruden worked a game between the Raiders and Eagles on ESPN.

“I felt pretty confident that he was all-in,” Davis said. “And that’s the term that we were using in our discussions and everything, are you all-in? And I never wavered from all-in. And this time he didn’t waver, either.”

Davis fired Jack Del Rio a week later and the team officially hired Gruden on Jan. 6. Davis also said he wouldn’t have fired Del Rio if he didn’t believe Gruden would sign on as coach.

“I believe that I would’ve sat down with Jack and we would’ve figured out coordinators and assistant coaches and things like that and try to figure out how to reinvigorate the franchise through Jack,” he said.


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