Football coaches and racism

I was talking with my dad this morning about today’s big news here in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Seahawks pro football team fired their head coach, Jim Mora, yesterday, and it looks like their new head coach is going to be Pete Carroll who is currently the head coach of the University of Southern California team where he has had quite a bit of success. This part of the story is only interesting to pro football fans. Now, onto the really interesting part of the story.

Despite the fact that the decision to hire Pete Carroll was made, likely, a few days ago and it was reported last night that Pete Carroll has already accepted the job, the Seahawks interviewed another coach named Leslie Frazier this morning and are reported to be interviewing a coach named Ron Rivera. What is interesting about this? Why would they conduct more interviews for a job when they have already decided who will fill the job? Leslie Frazier is African-American and Ron Rivera is Hispanic. The NFL has the “Rooney Rule” which requires teams to interview at least one “minority” when looking to fill head coach positions. In this case, they are interviewing a black man and a Hispanic man because they have to, not because they are interested in giving them the job.

Would you accept an interview for a job, knowing that you are being interviewed only because the employer is required to interview you due to your race? Or gender? Or religion?

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