The Fritz Pollard Alliance called Wednesday for the NFL to investigate whether the Oakland Raiders violated the ”Rooney Rule” when they hired Jon Gruden as coach.
Fritz Pollard Alliance counsel Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru said they were concerned that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates as required by the NFL since 2003.
”As soon as we learned of the reports [url=http://www.authenticsclevelandbrowns.com]Browns Elite Jerseys[/url] , we formally requested that the NFL thoroughly investigate the matter to conclusively determine whether the Rooney Rule was violated – and if it was violated, to impose an appropriate punishment,” they said.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of NFL teams.
Davis said Tuesday at the news conference introducing Gruden as the team’s new coach that he had been trying to make the move for six years and finally believed it would happen after a meeting in Philadelphia on Christmas Eve, the day before Gruden worked a game between the Raiders and Eagles on ESPN.
”I felt pretty confident that he was all-in,” Davis said. ”And that’s the term that we were using in our discussions and everything, are you all-in? And I never wavered from all-in. And this time he didn’t waver, either.”
Davis fired Jack Del Rio a week later and the team officially hired Gruden on Jan. 6. Davis also said he wouldn’t have fired Del Rio if he didn’t believe Gruden would sign on as coach.
”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 re-invigorate the franchise through Jack [url=http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com]Cowboys Elite Jerseys[/url] ,” he said.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday he interviewed two minority candidates before Gruden’s hiring was announced. Those candidates were Oakland tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and Southern California offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
The Raiders and the NFL had no immediate comment Wednesday night on the request from the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
A Ram truck ad that used a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., is drawing a backlash.
The ad shows people doing service-oriented tasks set against audio of King’s speech, which urges people to be ”great” by serving the greater good. It was supposed to highlight the volunteer program Ram Nation.
But it was criticized by viewers and ad experts alike for forging too tenuous a connection with the civil rights hero.
On Twitter, most people expressed the idea that using King’s speech to ”sell trucks” crossed a line between a heartfelt message and exploiting emotions just to push a vehicle.
”They pushed it over the edge,” said Kelly O’Keefe, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter. ”You wanted to root for it because the cause is good, but it just didn’t end up fitting the brand [url=http://www.authenticsdenverbroncos.com]Broncos Elite Jerseys[/url] , so you ended up feeling a little bit manipulated.”
”The use of MLK to promote Ram trucks strikes many people as crass and inappropriate,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University.
Watching at home, some viewers expressed distaste for the ad as well.
”I liked being reminded of Martin Luther King’s speech (but) I’m not sure it was fitting for a truck commercial,” said Kimberly Stites, who was watching the game in Gretna, Nebraska. ”I would have liked it better if they had said something like, `This reminder of all that we can be brought to you by ….”’
Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that it worked closely with the King estate on the ad.
The firm managing King’s intellectual property [url=http://www.authenticsdetroitlions.com]Lions Elite Jerseys[/url] , Intellectual Properties Management, said in a statement that it approved the ad because it embodied King’s philosophy.
On Twitter, the King Center in Atlanta said neither it nor Bernice King, King’s daughter, are in charge of licensing King’s speeches or other intellectual property.
The ad is not the first one to use a King Speech. Telecom Alcatel used King’s ”I Have a Dream” speech in a 1999 ad that was also approved by IPM.
That ad shows King giving his most famous speech to an empty Mall in Washington D.C. to illustrate the idea that ”before you can touch, you must first connect.”
Eds: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to Ram trucks, which are no longer affiliated with the Dodge brand.