Home > African American Authors, Sports > How the Door Was Opened for More NFL Minority Head Coaches

How the Door Was Opened for More NFL Minority Head Coaches

Jeremi Duru, author of Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL, is the February 6 guest on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM, at 12:30 p.m. Listen live online at kazifm.org.

Advancing the Ball chronicles the campaign of former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman John Wooten to right this wrong and undo decades of discriminatory head coach hiring practices–an initiative that finally bore fruit when he joined forces with attorneys Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie Cochran. Together with a few allies, the triumvirate galvanized the NFL’s African American assistant coaches to stand together for equal opportunity and convinced the league to enact the “Rooney Rule,” which stipulates that every team must interview at least one minority candidate when searching for a new head coach. In doing so, they spurred a movement that would substantially impact the NFL and, potentially, the nation.

Featuring an impassioned foreword by Coach Tony Dungy, Advancing the Ball offers an eye-opening, first-hand look at how a few committed individuals initiated a sea change in America’s most popular sport and added an extraordinary new chapter to the civil rights story.

About the Author

N. Jeremi Duru is an Associate Professor at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law and is among the nation’s foremost authorities on the intersection of race, sports, and law. Professor Duru has authored numerous articles exploring employment discrimination in the sports industry and has lectured on the topic throughout the United States and abroad.

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