How Many Black General Managers In The NFL?

There are currently four black general managers in the NFL. Ozzie Newsome of the Baltimore Ravens, Mike Tannenbaum of the New York Jets, Reggie McKenzie of the Oakland Raiders, and David Caldwell of the Jacksonville Jaguars.


In the National Football League, a small number of African American head coaches have been hired since the 1970s. In recent years, the number of black general managers has increased, but is still relatively low. Currently, there are eight black general managers in the NFL. Here is a look at these eight men and their teams.

The Rooney Rule

The Rooney Rule is a National Football League (NFL) policy that requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who advocated its implementation.

Why There Are So Few Black GMs

In 2002, the NFL established the “Rooney Rule,” named after Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney. The rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations positions.

Despite the rule, the number of black head coaches in the NFL has decreased in recent years. There are currently only two black head coaches out of 32 teams, which is down from a high of eight in 2011.

Part of the problem is that there are few black general managers in the NFL. In fact, there are currently only four black GMs out of 32 teams.

The lack of diversity among GMs and head coaches makes it difficult for minority candidates to get interviewed, let alone hired, for those positions.

There are a number of reasons why there are so few black GMs in the NFL. One reason is that many black assistant coaches don’t have the opportunity to move up to coordinator positions, which are often a stepping stone to becoming a GM.

Another reason is that many owners still prefer to hire white candidates for those positions. This preference is often based on the preconceived notion that white candidates are more qualified than minority candidates.

Unfortunately, this prejudice can prevent talented black coaches and executives from getting hired or promoted into positions of power within the NFL.

The Future of the Rooney Rule

When the NFL instituted the “Rooney Rule” in 2003, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching vacancies, it was a small step toward increasing diversity among the ranks of NFL coaches. But in the nearly two decades since, the number of black head coaches has actually decreased, from eight to four. So what does the future hold for the Rooney Rule and other efforts to increase diversity in NFL coaching?

There’s no easy answer, but one thing is clear: the Rooney Rule is no longer enough. In recent years, the league has been Slow to act on dynamics that are threatening to leave black coaches behind. One big problem is that there are so few black offensive and defensive coordinators — just 14 percent of assistant coaches in 2018 were black, according to an annual report from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida. And while seven new head coaches were hired this offseason, only one was black.

The league has made some changes lately that could help increase diversity among its coaching ranks. For example, it has expanded the pool of candidates that teams can interview for head coaching vacancies to include assistant coaches from other teams, as well as coordinators and position coaches. However, it’s not clear how effective these measures will be in the long run.

In order to truly increase diversity among NFL coaches, more needs to be done to develop diverse coaching talent at all levels — including high school and college. This will require a concerted effort from NFL owners, team executives, and league officials. But if they are committed to making progress on this issue, they need to start now.


We found that there are currently eight black general managers in the NFL. This number has increased from six in 2017, but has remained steady over the past few years. While this number is still low compared to the overall number of NFL teams, it is encouraging to see that the trend is moving in the right direction.

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