ESPN Reporter Questions Raiders “Morality” On Jon Gruden Hire

In theory, the Rooney Rule is a positive idea – a rule that makes sure minority candidates are given opportunities to interview for jobs they otherwise may not have been considered for based on their minority status.

One of the gray areas in the rule, however, is that you can’t dictate who someone should want to hire.

In the case of the Raiders and Jon Gruden, owner Mark Davis had been set on hiring Gruden for six years – and it had nothing to do with racial status. The move made sense from a football standpoint and with the Raiders needing to make a splash before moving to Las Vegas, it made as much sense from a business standpoint.

How, in his right frame of mind, could Davis seriously consider hauling the Raiders to Las Vegas (and all the financial risk that entails) with one of either USC Offensive Coordinator Tee Martin or their current (at the time) TE coach Bobby Johnson as head coach?

Still some, like ESPN’s Jim Trotter, believe the Raiders behaved immorally by not being more interested in minority candidates.

This was Trotter’s tweet following the league’s ruling that the Raiders did comply with the Rooney Rule…

“The head-shaking regarding this decision can even be seen at league headquarters, where some employees privately maintain that the Raiders should have been disciplined. The NFL should save itself the embarrassment and do away with the rule. You can’t legislate morality.”

And this is where the Rooney Rule takes an ugly turn.

No one believes Davis has ever tried to hold back a minority candidate. Even those calling for the steepest of penalties against the Raiders don’t believe that kind of foolishness.

So maybe Trotter is right that it’s time to take another look at the Rooney Rule. The rule has been danced around for years and it doesn’t have the teeth it was intended to have.

Morality is difficult legislate… and it becomes even more difficult when influential voices stand behind the rule to attack those advocating most for the cause.

twitter: @raidersbeat