NFL investigating Raiders’ Rooney Rule compliance

The NFL is officially investigating the Raiders’ hiring of head coach Jon Gruden.

An unnamed league official informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter Thursday that the Raiders’ satisfaction of the Rooney Rule, which demands that all NFL head coach and general manager hiring processes include the interviewing of at least one minority candidate, is under investigation.

This news comes one day after the league received an investigation request from the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a diversity group that assists the NFL in the monitoring of minority hires. Attorneys for the group expressed concern in a statement, according to Washington Post’s Mark Maske, demanding that violations receive “appropriate punishment.”

Both league officials and the Fritz Pollard Alliance had previously approved the Raiders and owner Mark Davis’ satisfaction of the Rooney Rule, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after the interviews of Bobby Johnson, Oakland tight ends coach, and Tee Martin, offensive coordinator at the University of South Carolina.

The question put in play by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and in turn the NFL, is the reality of those interviews, given Davis’ admittance that Gruden had been the Raiders’ target for six years, and the two sides had reached an agreement as early as Christmas.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was tasked with handing out such judgement in the rule’s most recent breaching, fining Detroit Lions’ president Matt Millen $200,000 in 2003, according to Maske.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Raiders beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Raiders football.