On Wednesday’s “First Take” on ESPN2, co-host Stephen A. Smith urged NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to adopt the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” which requires every team in the league to interview a minority candidate when in the process of hiring a head coaching and/or senior football operation jobs.
“I’m going to ask Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA to adopt a ‘Rooney Rule’ for the National Basketball Association. Just to make sure, if nothing else, that black candidates are being interviewed for these jobs, and more importantly, we know who they are when they’re interviewed so we can stop hearing about these other names coming out of nowhere that never happen to be black.”
He added later, “Right here on national TV, I’m going to ask commissioner Adam Silver, because the NBA gets a great grade in terms of the racial report card that they’re given. The NBA has an impeccable reputation. The league office has their conscience in the right place. I am saying that they need to invoke the ‘Rooney Rule’ to make sure more of these black candidates start getting interviewed for these jobs. Last time I checked, black folks know a little bit about basketball, too.”
In December, Smith said there were not enough black coaching candidates in college football. He then called for the NFL to be required to have a female coaching in some capacity in January. He also explained black coaches in the NFL do not have the same luxury as white Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Although Smith wants to integrate more affirmative action in the various sports, he recently argued that the ‘Rooney Rule’ in the NFL is actually hurting black coaches more than helping them.