Dec 8, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin: Incentivizing minority hires could fix 'broken' system

Last week, reports emerged that the NFL had tabled a proposal that could reward clubs with improved draft pick position for hiring and keeping minority coaches, general managers, and team executives. 

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is in favor of some version of that plan. 

Per ESPN's Brooke Pryor, Tomlin spoke about the matter with Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari on an edition of "Coffee with Cal:"

"We've always taken it from the approach of, punitive if you don't interview minority candidates or things of that nature. I just like the different approach in terms of spinning it 180 and talking about maybe incentivizing those that develop the talent and those that hire the talent."

Tomlin, one of only four minority NFL head coaches, added: 

"We're making some adjustments because we're acknowledging right now that the system is broken, that minorities are not getting enough opportunity. And we're trying to just figure out how to stimulate that. ... I agree it's debatable about the value placed on the incentivized plan, but I just generally like the discussion."

Before suggestions regarding incentives for minority hires were shelved, the NFL expanded its Rooney Rule to, among other things, require that teams interview at least a pair of external diverse candidates for open head coaching positions and one external minority candidate for a coordinator job. 

Had the added amendment passed among owners, teams could have improved third-round draft picks by hiring minority candidates for openings and keeping them on staff for multiple seasons. 

The idea received negative reaction among a variety of fans and other observers, including Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn: 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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