FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

March 28, 2022

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Football League (NFL) has created a new, six-person advisory panel to review diversity policies amid long-standing criticism over a lack of diversity in coaching and front office personnel roles, it said on Monday.

The NFL Diversity Advisory Committee will provide an “expert, external perspective” on issues ranging from club diversity, equity and inclusion, the league said.

“We’ve worked for years and made progress in many areas to ensure that staff and leaders in our office and at our clubs reflect the racial and gender make up of America, but we have more work to do,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

“This esteemed group’s work will help us build a more inclusive league.”

Last month, recently fired Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit accusing the NFL and its 32 teams of discriminating against Black candidates for coaching and management jobs.

Eight head coaching positions were filled this year, with Mike McDaniel and Lovie Smith being the only diverse candidates hired. In 2021 just one of the league’s vacant head coaching positions went to a minority candidate, Robert Saleh.

The panel, which was announced during the league’s annual meeting, includes former Houston Texans General Manager Rick Smith, ex-New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey, former President and CEO of the McDonald’s Corporation Don Thompson plus other figures from the world of business and academia.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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