By N. Jeremi Duru
Following the NFL's desegregation in 1946, possibilities turned more and more abundant for African American players--but now not African American coaches. even supposing significant League Baseball and the NBA made development during this regard through the years, the NFL's head coaches have been nearly solely white up until eventually the mid-1990s. Advancing the Ball chronicles the crusade of former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman John Wooten to correct this unsuitable and undo a long time of discriminatory head trainer hiring practices--an initiative that at last bore fruit while he joined forces with lawyers Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie Cochran. including a couple of allies, the triumvirate galvanized the NFL's African American assistant coaches to face jointly for equivalent chance and confident the league to enact the "Rooney Rule," which stipulates that each staff needs to interview at the least one minority candidate while trying to find a brand new head trainer. In doing so, they spurred a circulate that will considerably influence the NFL and, in all likelihood, the country. that includes an impassioned foreword by way of trainer Tony Dungy, Advancing the Ball bargains an eye-opening, first-hand examine how a number of dedicated participants initiated a sea switch in America's most well-liked recreation and additional a rare new bankruptcy to the civil rights tale.
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Additional resources for Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL
After playing for several more years, some with other teams, Harper returned to Boston as a coach in 1980 only to ﬁnd that the Elks still provided white team personnel free meals and that Red Sox management still abetted such discrimination. In almost a decade, nothing had changed. Still, Harper endured the indignity without comment, hoping the following spring training would be different. But every year the ritual was repeated. Finally, in 1984, Harper broached the matter with Red Sox chief operating ofﬁcer Haywood Sullivan, who assured him the Red Sox would cease the practice.
Before Mehri was able to furnish his modest new ofﬁce space and hire a suitable staff, Linda Ingram, an employee at Coke in Atlanta, called him for help, complaining that she was being discriminatorily compensated. Ingram’s story intrigued Mehri, but he needed more information, and once he was able to hire an associate and a paralegal, he traveled to Atlanta to meet Ingram in person. Ingram had by then organized dozens of other African Americans who told similar stories. Mehri decided to take the case, and he began to accrue a formidable collection of damning afﬁdavits.
Without statistical support, plaintiffs who band together as a 20 Advancing the Ball class to sue their employers are generally doomed. Whatever the facts of their cases, to achieve success they must make a statistically significant discrimination showing. That is to say, they must, using statistics, show that discrimination rather than coincidence explains the adverse employment actions they suffered. Here, though, there was no class and no suit. But Mehri believed if the statistics revealed what he hoped they would, both were possible.