NFL fines Lions' MIllen $200,000 - didn’t interview minorities

In a perverse way reading about this got me so pi$$ed that I began to realize my attitudes are changing and I’m actually starting to share the hostility that we’re being accused of…
I feel myself changing from someone who never had a problem with race to someone who is developing one.

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NFL fines Lions’
Millen $200,000
President didn’t interview minorities before hiring Mariucci as head coach
DETROIT, July 25 — The NFL served notice Friday that it is taking its commitment to diversity seriously, fining Detroit Lions president Matt Millen $200,000 for not interviewing any minority candidates before hiring coach Steve Mariucci. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue sent a letter to Millen informing him of the fine, the first levied under the league’s diversity program.

AFTER COACH MARTY MORNHINWEG was fired by the Lions in January, Mariucci was the only person interviewed for the job. The team said five minority candidates turned down interviews because it appeared inevitable Mariucci would be hired.
“While certain of the difficulties that you encountered in seeking to schedule interviews with minority candidates were beyond your control, you did not take sufficient steps to satisfy the commitment that you had made,” Tagliabue wrote.
The commissioner told NFL teams in May that future failures to interview minority candidates for a head coaching opening could lead to fines of $500,000 or higher as “conduct detrimental” to the NFL.
Team spokesman Bill Keenist said the Lions “respectfully disagree” with Friday’s ruling but support initiatives to promote diversity on coaching staffs and in front offices.
Keenist said Millen would have no comment.
There currently are three black NFL head coaches: Herman Edwards of the New York Jets, Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL has been trying for years to increase minority presence at its highest levels. The league intensified its attack on the problem after advocates announced last year they might sue if the NFL didn’t hire more black coaches.
League owners agreed in principle in December that any team seeking to hire a head coach would interview at least one minority candidate. The exception would be when a team makes a commitment to promote one of its assistants.
Known as the “Rooney Rule,” it is named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, chairman of the league’s diversity committee.

“With today’s announcement, the ‘Rooney Rule’ has finally arrived,” said Kellen Winslow, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
The alliance, formed in March and named after the first black coach in the NFL, represents the first time the league’s minority coaches and executives have banded together to fight for equal opportunities for minority members of the NFL’s coaching and front office ranks.
“I am happy to applaud the league for making the ‘Rooney Rule’ enforceable, which is a major step in leveling the playing field in the NFL,” said Winslow, a Hall of Fame tight end. “We are pleased that the rule now has teeth and hope today’s announcement sends a strong message to owners to embrace inclusive hiring practices going forward.”
At the time of Mariucci’s hiring in February, Rooney and Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, criticized the Lions for failing to follow that new policy.
“The Detroit Lions gave mere lip service to the agreed-upon minority hiring process, treating it almost as if a nuisance to their hiring of Steve Mariucci,” Upshaw said at the time. “The minority candidates were never given a fair chance to interview. In this case, the Lions’ position is indefensible.”
Lions vice chairman Bill Ford, Millen and three other Lions executives met in March with the league’s diversity committee in Palm Beach, Fla., to explain the process that led to the hiring of Mariucci.
Previous big fines handed down by the NFL include $500,000 paid by the San Francisco 49ers in 1990 when, without notifying other NFL team owners or getting league permission, owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. made the 49ers part of the same corporation that owned the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. That was a violation of the rule against an NFL team having an interest in another pro sport.
In 2000, the Steelers paid $550,000 over a salary cap issue. The same year, another salary cap dispute cost the 49ers two draft picks and front office boss Carmen Policy $400,000 and director of football operations Dwight Clark $200,000

Hi, Melissa, and welcome to the SDMB.

A couple of points:

  • You might want to e-mail a moderator and ask them to trim most of your quote. You already have the link, and the SDMB takes a dim view of copyright infringment such as repeating all or most of an article from another source.

  • You may or may not get much response on this; we hammered on it a bit when the event happened a couple of weeks ago in the NFL - fail to interview a minority, get a $200,000 fine and Affirmative Action In Major League Sports threads.

  • I am curious as to why you have had this reaction:

Barring a couple of minor shareholders, the NFL tends to be a bunch of rich white guys making rules for other rich white guys. Granted that either the new rule (to which the Lions agreed) or its enforcement are stupid, how do these rich white guys shape your views of race?

You’re changing into a person who’s devoloping a problem with race because of this?

they should have fined Dennis Green for being a token interview for other teams. Marvin Lewis filled that role for a few years.

Point number one) this isn’t a league rule, it is an agreement between owners that was never voted on and approved.

Point two) Millen tried to interview 5 black canidates and they all refused because he was honest with them and said mooch was his number one canidate. The five include Sherm Lewis who was on the previous coach’s staff and was retained by mooch.

This is really just a way to appease Johnny Cochran and some of his co-horts along with a city council person…all of whom played the race card.

BTW, Ford Senior was fined 50K by the league a couple of years ago for criticizing officials…he never paid.

Then again, as Rome said “any NFL rule that make an NFL owner call the commissioner “pablo” is a good rule with me.”

“sometimes you have to lie in order to tell the truth” - pablo picasso