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NFL’s Flores Suit Illuminates Limits of Rooney Rule (Podcast)

Feb. 8, 2022, 9:36 PM

The Rooney Rule started in the NFL, but it has since transcended the league—and professional sports altogether—to become a diversity initiative used across corporate America.

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The rule, named after former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, requires any organization that implements it to interview at least one minority candidate for senior job openings. But, as last week’s explosive lawsuit from former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores shows, the Rooney Rule has some glaring limitations.

On this episode of our weekly legal news podcast, On The Merits, we discuss those limitations with Bloomberg News courts reporter Chris Dolmetsch and Bloomberg Law employment reporter Erin Mulvaney. Chris tells us about the origins of Flores’ suit and the high-profile lawyer representing him, while Erin explains the current thinking on whether the Rooney Rule is still effective.

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To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cheryl Saenz at