The Oakland Raiders are clearly prepared to offer up a sham candidate to comply with the Rooney Rule en route to hiring Jon Gruden as their next football overlord, which bothers a number of well-meaning people who note that (a) the Rooney Rule still exists and (b) the Raiders stood first and boldest for minority coaching and executive candidates.
But times are different, and the Rooney Rule, which clearly states that NFL teams must actively consider non-white-male candidates for coaching and executive positions, is all but ignored as even a hurdle to be cleared.
It is all part of the greater NFL trend of being willing to show not only the freshly cooked sausage but the grisly ways it is fashioned and prepared. The Rooney Rule, which once cost the Detroit Lions $200,000 for going from Marty Mornhinweg to Steve Mariucci without interviewing a black candidate, is now almost a mannequin in a scrimmage.
And the Raiders, who gained fame and honor for hiring Art Shell, then Tom Flores, then promoting Amy Trask, are being grilled for not hiding their intentions re: Gruden. For his own recreation-of-past-glory dreams, Mark Davis has long fixated on Gruden and now must work backwards to find a candidate who isn't one.
And it doesn't really matter at this point whether the Raiders visually comply with a rule that the league barely recognizes anyway. The job is Gruden's unless Davis forgets that he is in a position of extreme weakness in negotiations and tries to muscle him.
In that way, the Rooney Rule has been reduced to a talking point with a short shelf life. When an owner in an overtly owner-driven league wants something, rules are really only suggestions, and if the Rooney Rule is just honored as a fig leaf it isn't really a rule at all.
And the league doesn't seem to mind that you know that. At least not enough.