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Group promoting National Football League minority hiring questions Raiders' Jon Gurden hiring process

12 January 2018

The group's counsel, Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru, released a statement Wednesday questioning whether comments Raiders owner Mark Davis made Tuesday meant the Raiders violated the Rooney Rule.

Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed what has been widely suspected: He got Jon Gruden to agree to become the next head coach of the Raiders first, then fired Jack Del Rio, then conducted the required Rooney Rule interviews. It is a rule put in place to insure minority coaches are given a fair shake in the interview process for National Football League coaching and general manager positions. Davis said he later met with Gruden on Christmas Eve in Philadelphia and came away "pretty confident that (Gruden) was all-in".

Davis fired Jack Del Rio a week later and the team officially hired Gruden on January 6.

The Raiders could face a severe fine or loss of draft picks as punishment if found at fault by the NFL. The facts matter. Fairness matters.

Davis said he had been pursuing Gruden since taking ownership of the team from his late father, Hall of Famer Al Davis, six years ago.

John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, had said last week he believed the Raiders had satisfied the Rooney Rule before hiring Gruden. Of course, the Rooney Rule made it so an official announcement couldn't be made until the team complied with the requirements.

"I believe that I would've sat down with Jack and we would've figured out coordinators and assistant coaches and things like that and try to figure out how to reinvigorate the franchise through Jack", he said. Gruden and Davis met in Philadelphia on December 24, the day before Gruden called Raiders-Eagles on Monday Night Football for ESPN. He hired Amy Trask as a top executive. Minorities candidates were interviewed. "But if there is a closed process and those minority candidates were going through the motions and had no idea there was already an agreement, that is not fair to them and it is not fair to the next guy coming up through the ranks".

Group promoting National Football League minority hiring questions Raiders' Jon Gurden hiring process