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NFL to extend Rooney Rule to women

By The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 5, 2016 at 1:12 AM

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league will institute a Rooney Rule for women when it comes to the hiring of NFL executive positions.

Goodell made the revelation at NFL Women's Summit, an event associated with Super Bowl 50 in which people associated with the NFL were in attendance to discuss issues affecting women in sports.

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The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for an open coaching position. It was instituted in 2003.

"We believe in diversity," Goodell said. "We believe we're better as an organization when we have good people at the table. We have great people at the table. We're also seeing it on the field. ...

"You can see that progress is being made and our commitment is, we have something called the Rooney Rule, which requires us to make sure when we have an opening that on the team or the league level that we are going to interview a diverse slate of candidates.

"Well, we're going to make that commitment and we're going to formalize that we, as a league, are going to do that for women as well in all of our executive positions. Again, we're going to keep making progress here and make a difference."

The NFL recently reached a milestone when Kathryn Smith was hired as the first full-time female coach when the Buffalo Bills hired her as an assistant special teams coach. The league also had a female official for the first time in Sarah Thomas.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke at the event and said there are reasons why women and minorities have trouble advancing in the corporate world.

"They keep looking in the same channels, they keep finding the same people," Rice said.

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