It almost seems redundant to hold Martin Luther King Day in the middle of all this hoopla over the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama.
Well, I guess if if that's what the people want...
Our own reflections on these matters are turning towards some intensely local leaders, whom perhaps we should start calling modern-day abolitionists.
The Rooney Rule, established in 2003, requires National Football League teams to interview minority candidates for a head coaching opportunity. The rule is named for Dan Rooney*, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the league's diversity committee, and is often cited as an example of affirmative action.
Since the Rooney Rule was established, several NFL franchises have hired minority head coaches (including the Steelers themselves, who hired Mike Tomlin before their 2007 season). At the start of the 2006 season, the overall percentage of African American coaches had jumped to 22%, up from 6% prior to the Rooney Rule. Even so, the policy is still debated and no team has stated whether the Rooney Rule contributed to the hiring of a minority.
* - I'm actually unsure whether the Rooney Rule wasn't also named in recognition of Art Rooney Sr. and his own legacy in regards to race relations and pro football.
At any rate, it's all seeming to work out okay.
"They did it tonight the way they've done it all year. This has been a very humble group, a very grounded group, and a very selfless group. And because of that, we're opportunistic." [evankel3]
Sounds like somebody's been hanging out with Troy Polumalu.
Have a happy and inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, everybody, and maybe mark this on your calendar.