NFL Notes: League remains committed to diversity, inclusion

<p>
              Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy paces the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Chicago, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
            </p>

The NFL says it is committed to diversity and inclusion.

The league received its lowest overall score in racial and gender hiring practices in 15 years, according to a report released earlier this week.

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport gave the NFL a B for racial hiring practices and a C-plus for gender hiring practices in its annual racial and gender report card for a combined B-minus grade. The overall score of 79.3% was down from 81.6% last year.

The report places more emphasis on head coaching and general manager positions. There are currently only four people of color in head coaching positions, down from a record-tying eight to start the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Also, there were only GMs who are people of color to start the 2019 season, a decrease from four in 2018 and six in 2017.

But the league has seen increases in hiring at other positions.

“The NFL has experienced diversity and inclusion as good business,” the league said in a statement. “Our long-standing and ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in gender hiring increases at the league office as well as in gender and underrepresented minority hiring increases among club executive leadership.

“Even with this progress, we know that diversity and inclusion are not about a point-in-time snapshot. The Rooney Rule, which has been increasingly adopted in both the public and private sectors as an industry best practice, is just one example of our long-term commitment.

“There is still work to be done and our progress in some areas reinforces our determination to work even harder in other areas to continue building a diverse and inclusive workplace across all aspects of our business.”

NATIONAL INSPIRATION

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy hopes the Monsters of the Midway can draw inspiration from the World Series champions.

Nagy mentioned the stunning turnaround the Nationals orchestrated in bringing home Washington’s first baseball championship since the Senators won it all in 1924 when he met with his struggling team Thursday morning. They went from just about out of contention at 19-31 in late May to rallying to win Game 7 at Houston on Wednesday.

“I had a power point that we talked about and showed,” Nagy said. “We saw the interviews that the players talked about. We saw the interview that their manager talked about. How ironic in our situation. How amazing is that — that people that stick together, people that get tighter through adversity, people that never quit, people that say, ‘So what, now what?’ — but then they do it. How do you not show that to your guys and let them pull from that.

“That’s a really cool moment for them. That should be something that all of us can learn from in the sports world.”

The Bears are 3-4 with three straight losses heading into their game at Philadelphia. It’s not what they envisioned after winning the NFC North at 12-4 in Nagy’s first season.

GRIEVING PANTHER

Panthers defensive end Mario Addison will be playing Sunday against the Tennessee Titans with a heavy heart following the death of his brother, Gjamal Antonio Rodriqcus, who was killed Oct. 27.

Addison posted on social media: “This pain is real. Half of my soul gone wen u killed my baby brother last nite. Please live through me n Rest well lil bruh.”

A man has been arrested and charged with killing Rodriqcus, according to CBS42 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Addison missed the first two days of practice this week to be with family in Birmingham.

“He’s been a big part of what we’ve done and the success we’ve had and the success we’re having,” Rivera said of Addison, who has 48 ½ sacks over the past 5 ½ seasons for Carolina. “He’s most certainly missed and we most certainly do think about him and pray for his family.”

Addison learned about his brother’s death before the team’s flight back from San Francisco last Sunday.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

Sports fans will have access to some of the greatest moments in NFL history through a unique content experience launched by the league.

Highlights from this season, podcasts and curated playlists, and NFL Rewind content among other things, will be available on a variety of music streaming platforms and the NFL’s page or channel on those platforms.

Fans can watch footage of stars such as Peyton Manning making their NFL debuts, watch roundtable discussions featuring former players such as Joe Namath and John Elway or view highlight reels of some of the league’s greatest teams.

The NFL content is on digital steaming platforms including Pandora, TuneIn, TIDAL, Spotify and SoundCloud. And, for some of the platforms, it’s the first non-music video material.

“This unique content experience will provide NFL fans the rich culture of football’s past and present at their fingertips,” an NFL spokesperson said in a statement. “With adaption across several streaming platforms, we hope to reach a new generation of fans through team playlists and ‘Songs of the Season’ features while helping lifelong fans re-live their favorite NFL moments.”

ROOTING FROM AFAR

Adam Gase coached Ryan Tannehill for three seasons when both were with the Miami Dolphins. Now Gase is struggling in his first year as coach of the New York Jets, while Tannehill has started the past two games for the Tennessee Titans and led them to victories.

“It’s good to see he’s having success, good to see him winning,” Gase said. “I watched a little bit of his first game. He ended up throwing an interception, so I turned it off. I thought I was bad luck.”

Tannehill suffered two serious knee injuries while playing for Gase, and the seventh-year veteran has yet to take a postseason snap.

BEAT IT

The Detroit Lions signed cornerback Michael Jackson earlier this week, giving them some insurance at the position with two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay on the injury report with a hamstring.

Lions coach Matt Patricia apparently is a more of a fan of the player than the late pop superstar.

Does Patricia have a favorite song by the 13-time Grammy winner?

“That’d probably be a no, probably,” Patricia said.