Well here I am again writing about the NFL. I apologize, but it seems like every Thursday that its my turn to post, the NFL announces another "advancement" involving women's rights in the NFL.
Today Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the league, announced at the first-ever NFL Women's Summit that the league would be implementing a Rooney Rule for the hiring of any executive position. What the rule states is that when there is a position open on a National Football team, they are required to include one female candidate in the interview process.
Again, I hate to play devils advocate, but this seems so forced? The idea that their needs to be a rule in place to "encourage" the interview of a woman for an executive position makes me sick.
It seems to me that the NFL's social norms within the league are that a woman can't be in the front office of a football team, for whatever reason?! A majority of the positions in the front office executive positions deal with funding and marketing of the team...in which case they would have no "official" contact with the players or coaches on an everyday bases. None the less, the NFL is trying, and at the end of the day I suppose I can deal with a pathetic attempt than no attempt at all.
What did seem extremely promising while reading the articles, was where Goodell announced the Rooney Rule, at the first-ever NFL Women's Summit. A two-day event where over 250 women and men come together to listen to a slate of speakers on issues affecting women in sports.
I looked into this summit further, and it really stood out to me as perhaps, a genuine effort on the part of the NFL to raise awareness for Women in sports. Several influential women will speak at the two day event including: Condoleezza Rice, Serena Williams, and Billie Jean King.
The summit has sparked a hashtag in social media, where women are encouraged to share videos and pictures of what sports means to them with the hashtag "inthehuddle."
I know I can be judgmental of the NFL at times, but I do realize they are fighting a battle that has been created by social norms and society's stereotypes of what the NFL stands for--I credit their continued effort to change those stereotypes--but at times their actions seem to be forced and not genuine. In the case of the summit, I hope that it becomes an annual event, and continues to grow into the face of women's rights in sports for the years to follow.