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Redskins make a mockery of Rooney Rule

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But then there's the Rooney Rule, which the NFL first invoked in 2003 when the lack of black coaches in a league dominated by black players began to become an embarrassment. Coincidence or not, there are now six African American head coaches (not counting Buffalo's interim coach Perry Fewell ) and two of the last three Super Bowl champions were coached by blacks.

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Having a Rooney Rule doesn't mean that every team that has an opening must seriously consider an African American, especially if someone like Shanahan is available.

Having said that, the Redskins have made a mockery of the rule with Gray's "interview." To begin with, is there anything they won't do to humiliate Zorn, who has tried so hard to be a stand-up guy throughout this entire debacle? They couldn't wait until next week to go through the formality of interviewing Gray and then name Shanahan the coach on Wednesday or Thursday instead of Monday or Tuesday?

Then they forgot to brief Gray on how to handle the situation. When he was asked if he had interviewed for the job he initially said "no," forcing the team to put out a statement saying that Gray meant to say, "no comment." When in history has anyone had to put out a statement claiming someone was saying, "no comment" in answer to a yes-or-no question?

What's more remarkable is the willingness of both the NFL and the Fritz Pollard Alliance to play this silly game with the Redskins.

Shanahan is going to coach the Redskins. That's all well and good. But the Rooney Rule, even in an instance where it isn't going to produce a minority hire, should not be treated as a joke. There was no way Snyder was going to hire another coach who isn't even working at the coordinator level -- whether he be black, white, green or blue -- to follow Zorn. There are plenty of guys, minority and non-minority, who could have been interviewed next Monday and Tuesday before the surprise announcement that Shanahan was the new coach.

But the Redskins, as we know, always do things "the Redskins Way." The saddest part of that -- besides the on-field record and the off-field embarrassments -- is that the NFL won't do anything to stop the madness.

For more from the author, visit his blog at http://www.feinsteinonthebrink.com


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