Can the ‘Rooney Rule’ reduce racism in football?
The English Football Association (FA) will tackle institutional racism in football by interviewing at least one candidate from an ethic minority for all jobs in the England set-up – including manager.
In an attempt to increase inclusivity in the game, the FA will adopt the so-called Rooney Rule which, in the US, requires NFL teams to interview black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates for head coaching and other senior roles.
Named after the late Dan Rooney, the former owner of American football team the Pittsburgh Steelers, the policy has spread to sports around the world.
“It comes in the wake of an extremely damaging six months for the image of the governing body,” says The Guardian. An investigation by an independent barrister found former England women’s head coach Mark Sampson guilty of making “discriminatory remarks on the grounds of race”. Even more damaging was criticism of how the original complaints by Chelsea player Eniola Aluko had been handled by the FA.
FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn, who was grilled by MPs about the FA’s culture and faced calls to resign after the Sampson inquiry, told Sky News: “The commitment to the Rooney Rule is about bringing to life our ambition to make the people that run football and manage football, they should look – in mine and the FA’s view – more like the people that play football today.”
Glenn, who has admitted the FA is too male, white and old, insisted a series of new initiatives and investments announced yesterday aimed at increasing grassroots funding and boosting diversity would have a “significant impact” on both the organisation itself and English football.
The reforms, “billed as the most wide-ranging cultural changes at the FA since it was founded in 1863, are designed to shed the damaging image of the game as a sport run by white men”, says the London Evening Standard.
Debate sparks over student display at high school football game
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Some community members are saying a display by students standing with Forest Hills Central fans during Friday’s high school football game against Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills was racist.
Some of the students cheering on the Forest Hills Central football team wore red, white and blue. Others also brought along a Donald Trump campaign flag and the old Betsy Ross flag, which has 13 stars in a circle representing the 13 colonies.
Critics of the display claim it was racist and intimidating to the predominantly black home team playing against Forest Hills Central’s mostly white school.
“It’s all very obvious. You can’t deny the overt, intentional racism and intimidation,” said Briana Urena-Ravelo, a longtime Grand Rapids resident who learned of the situation after a friend posted a video from the game at Houseman Field.
“For these white kids from a white school to bring out a flag of the colonies with the ‘Make America Great Again’ Trump flag to a game with black students on the field, it’s all very obvious,” she continued.
Comments agreeing with her poured in on Facebook. Dozens of people shared photos and videos from the game.
Urena-Ravelo explained to 24 Hour News 8 why she thinks parading the Betsy Ross flag at a game against a predominantly black school like Ottawa Hill High is offensive.
“What were the conditions for people of color when that flag was created? I was property. Other people were getting their land stolen,” she said.
Dr. Tony Baker, the president of Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education, was at Friday’s game.
“I realized that there was this real buzz of concern from the principal and teachers and some of the parents who were concerned about the message that was being portrayed,” he told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone Saturday.
Baker said that he and the principal talked at the game about a response to keep students safe, but he said they were also concerned about freedom of speech. He said that he can’t know if it was an intentionally offensive display and added that he hopes it was not.