Gender Diversity in the NFL: The Importance of Female Leadership in a Historically Male-Dominated Organization

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(13 Willamette Sports L.J., no. 2, 2016, at 60). This article looks at the lack of female leadership in the National Football League (NFL), particularly in light of the NFL executive board’s neglect of the issue of domestic violence. The article describes domestic violence associated with the NFL, including the Ray Rice scandal and other major scandals. The article explores NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s failure to adequately address the issue of domestic violence. The article then describes the NFL’s personal conduct policies in place during the scandals, the small penalties imposed by the executive board on players who committed violence against women, and organizational responses to the NFL’s mishandling of domestic violence issues. Next, it discusses NFL’s past hiring practices under the so-called Rooney Rule, hiring minority males into leadership positions to resolve racial discrimination issues without addressing hiring policies that disparately impacted the hiring of women. The article concludes by highlighting the importance of the employment of women, including women of color, as future leaders in the NFL.