Anthony Lynn on Rooney Rule Changes: 'Can Do the Wrong Thing' Trying to Do Right

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 16, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Carson, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn is among those weary of the NFL's proposal to reward teams who hire minority general manager and coaching candidates. 

Speaking to Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, Lynn, one of three African-American head coaches in the league, was blunt in his assessment of the change.

CBS Sports Radio @CBSSportsRadio

According to @JimTrotter_NFL there is a #NFL proposal trying to incentivize hiring minority coaching & GM candidates by rewarding teams with improved draft slots. #Chargers HC Anthony Lynn told @ZachGelb, "Sometimes you can do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing." https://t.co/EWGxJ0B005

"Sometimes you can do the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing," Lynn said. 

According to NFL.com's Jim Trotter, here's how the league is proposing to change the Rooney Rule, which mandates teams must interview minority candidates for top positions:

"If a team hires a minority head coach, that team, in the draft preceding the coach's second season, would move up six spots from where it is slotted to pick in the third round. A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring a person of color as its primary football executive, a position more commonly known as general manager.

"If a team were to fill both positions with diverse candidates in the same year, that club could jump 16 spots -- six for the coach, 10 for the GM -- and potentially move from the top of the third round to the middle of the second round. Another incentive: a team's fourth-round pick would climb five spots in the draft preceding the coach's or GM's third year if he is still with the team."

The proposal would require 24 of 32 votes to pass. ESPN's Dan Graziano reports NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is also in favor of the plan. 

"I think this is out of desperation, this is something that we're throwing out there, but it is what it is," Lynn said. "... You can't make people hire someone they don't what to hire for whatever reason."

One suggestion Lynn offered was for NFL decision-makers to expand the conventional head coach applicant pool beyond offensive and defensive coordinators. The Chargers coach said he understands why those roles are most often hired to run their own teams, but notes plenty of people can call plays but can't lead an organization. 

"I think there are a lot of qualified African-American coaches right now that could be a head coach in this league," Lynn said. "I just pray we do our due diligence and give these guys an opportunity."

The NFL is set to discuss the proposal during a virtual meeting Tuesday.