Bettman announces a new mandatory annual training program will be required for all head coaches, asst coaches, minor league coaches, GMs, assistant GMs on diversity and inclusion. It will be a program designed by an outside company

A training program to cover the leagues ass was pretty much guaranteed at this point, and could be a good thing, as long as this doesn’t snowball and stays as a training program.

By snowball I mean turn into something like the Rooney Rule in the NFL, which on the outside appears to be a good thing, but from the inside is just a pain in the ass for anyone in a front office or a black coaching candidate. This rule had influence from non NFL sources, including Johnny Cochran and I bet if you talked to the black coaches who know they’re qualified for a position, I bet they would tell you it’s an inconvenience. The team I know the most about is the Detroit Lions, so I’ll use only their specific examples.

Detroit hires Jim Caldwell a couple years back because he was the best candidate in the teams eyes. However Caldwell himself said when he received the interview offer, he had to put Detroit through his own interview and take time to speak to his sources, because he didn’t want to fly across the country just to have them use him for their quota, as other teams had. After Caldwell was fired, the first candidate interviewed was his defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin. As soon as Austin interviewed, he was let out of his contract to take the same defensive coordinator postion with the Cincinnati Bengals. Matt Patricia was already all but locked in as the next coach, and everyone knew it, so Austin likely interviewed either as a favor to Detroit, or he was forced to an official interview in exchange for being allowed to take the job with Cincinnati. When Steve Mariucci was hired by Detroit, the Lions were fined for not interviewing a black coach, even though anyone interviewing would already know the job was going to Mariucci. I’ve heard Brian Flores name connected to the Rooney Rule this year, but let’s call it like it is. Brian Flores was hired because he’s a great coach and he’s proving it with what he’s doing. Associating him with this rule is disrespectful to him as a coach. At the end of the day, in an environment where the only thing that matters is winning, the job is always going to go to who is deemed the most qualified and best for the position, so let’s please keep this at training. Please. If not it’s just going to turn into more bad press for the NHL before anything good comes out of it, and that’s exactly how to NOT make the game grow.

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