Lack of Indigenous Coaching Staff... Time for a 'Rooney Rule'?

Remove this Banner Ad

Always Ballin

★I'M SMARTER THAN YOU★
Jan 11, 2015
4,478
6,956
Main Forum Poster
AFL Club
West Coast
Thought it'd be fitting to discuss this on Indigenous round.

What is a Rooney Rule?

The Rooney Rule is a National Football League policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is sometimes cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates.[1][2][3] It was established in 2003, and variations of the rule are now in place in other industries

Although Indigenous Aboriginals are only 2% of the total Australian population, they represent 10% of AFL players. Fremantle just sided a team with record 8 Indigenous players.

But when we look at the demographics in the coaching ranks, we get a much different outlook...

While Indigenous footballers have been legends of the Australian game, only eight Aborigines have filled senior or assistant coaching positions in VFL/AFL history. Of the AFL's current coaching crop Fremantle assistant Roger Hayden and Andy Lovell at the Gold Coast Suns stand alone as Indigenous faces.

The intention/purpose behind a 'Rooney Rule' is simple.

CLARITY: It is NOT a QUOTA. (PLEASE READ THIS AGAIN)

A 'Rooney Rule' is aimed to give disenfranchised and underprivileged minorities equal opportunity and footing, specifically in the coaching ranks. It's an approach utilized to sour the blow of historical racism, discrimination and prejudice. In America, historically African-Americans were both ostracized and ignored by sporting leagues for various reasons ranging from Jim Crow laws, to more basic prejudices like income inequality.


In South Africa, the Springboks have a current directive that's similar in intention to a "Rooney Rule", but aimed at racial player demographics, and is much more extreme being a quota system. This is not a "Rooney Rule", but it's intent is similar... Counteract historical demographic injustices and discrimination.

South Africans of colour, more than 90% of the population, remain the minority in starting line-ups more than two decades after the end of draconian white-minority rule which prohibited them competing at the highest level.

The problem in South Africa lies in the fact that such mechanisms were designed to find only white players, and the authorities which have remained in place since the 1950s have never adequately invested in undoing this trend, meaning white players continue to have an unfair advantage.

For South Africa, these quotas are vital means through which to reverse the apartheid policies of racial division and systemic disadvantage.

The discussion of this topic specifically in regards to the AFL is not new. Indigenous AFL Champion Chris Johnson had this to say about the idea;

"I don't think AFL clubs or the AFL are ready for the "Rooney rule" at this minute because there's not enough Indigenous coaches at hand at TAC Cup and under-18 level," Johnson said.

"Once we get, say, an Indigenous coach at each TAC Cup side and at a national under-18s level I think we'd be able to do that. But we've got to boost those numbers up first.

"I think what we need to start looking at is retiring players and what the transition is for them going into coaching.

"We need to build a core group, build the knowledge, build the experience; show that it's not so daunting."

Of the AFL setting on coaching recruitment, Johnson said: "Maybe the people hiring don't know we can actually be part of an AFL club like that and that we can do it."

Equally, Johnson said the task of elite AFL coaching needs to be demystified for potential candidates of Indigenous and multicultural backgrounds.

CLARITY: It is NOT a QUOTA. (PLEASE READ THIS AGAIN)
 

Log in to remove this ad.

TimmeT

Premiership Player
Mar 28, 2017
4,321
4,504
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Problem is if you implement such a rule and don't see an indigenous coach be hired you'll end up with all the leftist PC do-gooders and Adam Goode's claiming the club management is racist like the magpies in the McAllister days.

Quotas or quota type systems never work or end well.
 

Always Ballin

★I'M SMARTER THAN YOU★
Jan 11, 2015
4,478
6,956
Main Forum Poster
AFL Club
West Coast
I don't like the idea of a quota tbh
It's not a quota.

The Rooney Rule is a National Football League policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is sometimes cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates.[1][2][3] It was established in 2003, and variations of the rule are now in place in other industries
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
6,822
12,857
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I think something like a Rooney rule is without question of value if it increases the presence of indigenous coaches and reduces the gap identified by the OP. I think the AFL should dedicate money to developing indigenous coaching talent. I hope they already are. What if indigenous coaches salaries dont count in the soft cap until the gap is bridged. And I think AFL clubs will jump at the opportunity to bring in indigenous talent into the club at coaching level, recruiting and admin. This indigenous round has become the best of the year. Brings out the best in Australia and shows that most Australians are not represented by the views of our government and of goons like Andrew Bolt.

We are so privileged to have this weekend when our future as a country feels a little brighter, and coaching ranks is perhaps a forgotten frontier for the AFL to lead in recognising the importance of the oldest living culture to our game.
 

Damon_3388

Premium Platinum
Jun 23, 2008
33,485
27,190
Headed for Kirribilli House
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Norwood, Everton, Detroit Red Wings
How many indigenous players want to coach after football?

I would imagine we'll see more of it over the next 10-20 years, given that more Indigenous players are carving out longer careers as players at the top level, and may want to stay in the game after their playing days are over.
 

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
6,822
12,857
AFL Club
Hawthorn
And the reason there are fewer indigenous coaches than indigenous player participation is not about talent, it is about opportunity. It is, for example, about Australia being a large country and our indigenous players belonging to remote communities. The coaching talent is yet harnessed to an equal extent with the tradiitional coaching pathways.
 

TassieSaint

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 5, 2007
6,716
3,189
Hobart
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
Tassie Tigers
For starters mate 'minority' as it is defined in America constitute 38% of the general population and 72% of NFL players. That is absolutely miles and miles ahead of the respective Indigenous percentages and it is not comparable. I honestly don't think the lack of Indigenous coaches is due to any unconscious or conscious bias or lack of opportunity, it is purely a lack of numbers. Bare in mind also that the percentage of Indigenous players has been increasing over time, you'd expect to see a delayed impact on coaches ranks.
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad