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Saturday, October 22, 2011
Roger Goodell talks diversity in London

Associated Press

LONDON -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell advised English Football Association officials on the benefits of adopting the Rooney Rule designed to create more opportunities for black and minority coaches.

The FA and League Managers' Association has spent several months exploring the possibility of emulating the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when filling head coach and general manager positions.

Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who pushed for the diversity rule that was eventually named after him, joined Goodell in a meeting with FA officials this week.

"We're more than happy to share our perspective in anything we do," Goodell said Saturday. "What that has done is create more opportunities for African-American coaches and other minority coaches to become NFL head coaches because you've had to look at a broader slate of qualified individuals.

"And that has been good for our game (and) it's good business. And that was exactly our message to the FA officials."

Goodell is in London for Sunday's regular-season NFL game at Wembley Stadium between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears, teams that have black head coaches.

Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris and Chicago's Lovie Smith are among seven black head coaches and one Hispanic coach working in the NFL. When the Rooney Rule was implemented in 2003, there were three black coaches.

Among England's 92 professional clubs over the top four divisions, there are only two black managers -- Chris Hughton at second-tier Birmingham and Chris Powell at third-tier club Charlton.

In the Premier League -- the world's richest soccer league -- all 20 managers are white.