The NFL is investigating whether the Washington Football Team violated the Rooney Rule in hiring Terry Bateman to oversee business operations this week.
“The NFL is reviewing the matter with the team to understand the facts,” the league told Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance this week questioned the hiring process for both Bateman and Julie Donaldson as senior vice president of media. The Rooney Rule requires teams to interview a woman or a minority before hiring senior staff, so the hiring of Donaldson as the first woman to head up a team’s broadcast operations should be acceptable under league policies.
It’s not clear, however, whether the Football Team interviewed a minority before hiring Bateman for the business operations job. If it didn’t, the league could sanction the Football Team. The Rooney Rule was expanded in May to include executive positions within NFL teams’ business offices.
The Football Team could also face league discipline as a result of allegations of widespread sexual harassment within the organization.