The NFL is reportedly weighing a proposal to increase minority hiring among its 32 teams by rewarding them with one of the league's most precious currencies -- draft picks.
The league's owners will vote on a proposal that would award "improved draft slots" to teams who hire head coaches and executives of color, according to Jim Trotter of NFL.com.
The league is also considering changing tampering rules that forbid teams from interviewing lower-ranking coaches for coordinator positions, the report said, a policy which has the unintended consequence of impeding upward mobility for candidates of color.
Under the plan, a team that hires a minority coach would move up six slots from its previously determined third-round draft pick, and jump up 10 spots for hiring a minority executive. If a team were to hire both, the pick would move up by 16 spots, and could conceivably pass from the third to second round.
The proposal also stipulates teams would be rewarded with improved draft picks in the second year after the diversity hire, a clause apparently included to discourage what some say is an unfairly quick hook for minority executives and coaches on the hot seat.
NFL owners were reportedly scheduled to vote on the measure on Tuesday.
The proposal comes in response to an apparent dip in the hiring of minorities, according to the article, a reality acknowledged by Commissioner Roger Goodell during the lead up to the Super Bowl in February.
Only two of the league's 32 general mangers are people of color, the story said, while just three of the past 20 head coaching vacancies have gone to minorities. These discouraging numbers come nearly two decades after the introduction of the league's famous Rooney Rule, which mandated that teams must interview minority candidates for head coaching vacancies.