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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 8 months ago

Jeremi Duru

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining us in the Huddle this week is American University Law professor, Jeremi Duru. His journey through life has been influenced by sports and the pursuit of racial equality. Moving from Africa back to the states at age 7, Jeremi realized how sports helped him connect with all the new kids in his school. He also realized his passion to stop racial injustice and inequality at a young age after watching the movie Roots. I think it is amazing how Jeremi has combined these two experiences to find his path in life. 

Jeremi is a sports law expert, media commentator, law professor, author and advocate for strengthened solutions around diversity and inclusion. (bio below).  (Note: Jeremi was involved in Jim Rooney’s book project and on content related to The Rooney Rule)

As one of the nation’s foremost sports law authorities, Duru teaches in the areas of sports law, civil procedure, and employment discrimination at American University Washington College of Law. His book Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL examines the NFL’s movement toward increased equality of opportunity for coaches and front office personnel. He is also co-author of Sports Law and Regulation: Cases and Materials and The Business of Sports Agents.

You can find out more about Jeremi with this link. https://www.wcl.american.edu/community/faculty/profile/duru/bio

 

...welcome everyone to huddle up with Gus.I'm your host, 15 year NFL quarterback Gus, for, uh, we're here in the new 1631 digital new studio. If you wanna learn more or listen to previous shows,you can check us out on our website. Huddle up with gus dot com, or youcould listen to us on the new radio dot com apple wherever you listen to yourfavorite podcasts, while in the huddle, our guests describe how sports shapedtheir life. Now let's join the huddle. Hey, welcome to another episode ofHuddle Up With Us. I'm your host gust for a 15 year NFL quarterback and I'mcoming to you live from the 16 31 digital news studio. As you can see,it's more like my daughter's room, but it's a 16 31 digital news studio, andyou can find us wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Also, we justcame across and and got onto sounder now, so we're pretty excited about that.So today is a great show. I'm excited to have our guest on. We're going toget into some serious topics, um, fun topics, but what our country has beenthrough the last year. If you look at the sports kind of world, probably evenlonger than that. But I think we're going to get into some good topics. AndI'm really excited to have Jeremy do Ruan, Uh, he's written a book calledAdvancing the Ball. It's all about Race and equality in the NFL. Jeremy is aprofessor of law at American University, Down in D. C. I know those grounds verywell, but Jeremy, thanks for joining us in the huddle today. How are you? I'mwell, God's pleasure to be on it. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I'm excited to talk to, you know,being in Pittsburgh. You've been here. You've helped with the Rooney rule. Youdid a lot of that work. You understand all that, What is supposed to be andyou know we're gonna get into Is it working? Is it not working today? Butbefore we start that I wanted to get into you know, where you grew up. Andwhat was the first memory you had? Uh, when you fell in love with sports, wasit just playing in the backyard? Was it apparent? Wasn't an uncle. We all havea different story and I want I kind of want to know, you know where sportsstarted for you. It's a great question. Um, sports a bigpart of my life, always loved playing them. I love working sport now I'd saythe first memory really indelible memories for Gaza. SoI grew up from the age of six in Tacoma Park, Maryland, just outside of D. C.On. Before that, I lived for several years in Nigeria, went to kindergartenin Nigeria. My father's from there and moved back to this country when I wassix. Felt very out of place. E had an accent that was different. Clothes weredifferent. Everything else but Nigeria is a big soccer playing nation, so Igrew up just playing soccer over there. And so when I got here, I felt a littlebit alienated. Went out for recess in the game that the kids play, the recesswas soccer. You know, 50 kids just on on a huge field, kicking the ballaround, and that was good and better than most. And it gave me anopportunity to meet people through being viewed of someone who could playsoccer reasonably well and that kind of, uh that was my entree into a number offriendships here in the United States that I still maintain today. So soccerwas a way for me to enter a new society without soccer, I think it would havebeen a much more rocky. Yes. So, uh, tell us the differencebetween how soccer is viewed when you were growing up here in the UnitedStates compared to Nigeria, because I would assume that's pretty big inNigeria. And maybe it takes on a kind of NFL feeling. Um, like the U. S hasYeah, I'd say I'd say it's even more than the NFL. I mean, in in Nigeria,soccer is is the sport, and everything else is a distant, distant second onDSO. It's interesting, you know, coming here. Particularly then we're talkingabout the late seventies early eighties. Soccer was quite disrespected as asport in the United States, and so I was coming to a place where not thatmany people play that our loved it knew much about it. In Nigeria. It waseverything, so that was a little bit of a shock, but it kind of, as I said,gave me an in because I knew the game that was fortunate to move to a part ofthe country suburban Maryland, where a lot of kids played. And so it wasviewed as a as an asset to know about the game, to be able to play the game. Well, I bet you were king of thekickball. I mean, then I mean, you probably had a stronger leg thaneverybody else. And then if you guys played kick, I know we played kickballthe time growing up, you know, when we had recess and things like that. Uh, soI'm sure, like with with you coming from there and playing soccer or youprobably king and kickball, you...

...probably first taking I was dominant onthe playground. And then, with every year that passed since then have becomeless and less dominant. You and me, both you and me both. I only I couldkick a ball anymore. Uh, but but it's been yes, that was important to me, aza way. Mandela's got this, uh, this quote that I can't remember exactly.But essentially, it's it. You know, sport brings people together. It canchange the world and And from that early experience, I knew the power ofsport really been involved with it ever since. So then when you move back, you'replaying soccer. Um, you know, like you said, soccer wasn't as Bigas It is now,and now everything is Hey, you gotta be here. It's all it's all coordinated itsall time. It's, you know, for parents driving you every place. But back whenwe were kids, there was a lot of pickup games. Kids playing outside eso Did youdo a lot of that? And did you start playing other sports? Or was it justmainly soccer? No, we did a lot of that on be played. Every played every sport.We played them in season, and so way actually play, You know, soccer. Weplayed during the fall on playgrounds. We also played football way, playedbaseball in the spring, played basketball in the winter and the summerin the playgrounds. Um, anytime it snowed, any time it snowed, we place nofootball. Without question, that's the best game ever. Best game ever. Bestgame ever, without any strictures. As you said, you just play there. Nocoaches around or no parents telling you what to do. Just kids playing. Itwas beautiful. It was beautiful gusts. And it's one thing that I really lamentis that youth sports has become so strict shirred and such a big industrythat I think a lot of that pure joy that I had as a youth that I justdescribed that I'm sure you had I think a lot of it is, you know, is dissipated. Oh, I couldn't agree more. I mean, we would have anything from football,basketball, baseball, whiffle ball, kickball, whatever ball somebody had intheir garage in their shed out back. You know, we just said, Hey, bring itthat day and we'll figure out what we're playing. And, uh, you know, we Ididn't grow up in a big town, but, you know, we all rode our bikes, went tothe fields, we did what we could. And like you said, we didn't have parentsaround. We don't have referees. Somebody got hurt. If somebodydisagreed, you settled it and you went home and you came back out the next dayand have fun again. And and we missed a lot of that, and I I really miss thateven for my kids. I mean, I can remember while I was playing my wifedrove them all over God's green Earth just to get to practices and games forevery sport. And it really is sad. It is. It is sad. It's very different. Andthat, of course, for you, Gus, which is what do you think? A zey general matterproduces the better athlete because there a lot of studies on this, and Iposit and I think a lot of people agree. Some differ that the generalist, asthey're growing up, becomes ultimately the better athlete rather than theperson who specialized at the age of eight. They play only once for goingforward. Well, if you think what they tell us, how the child's brain doesn'treally stop growing until a certain age right, and they're always creatingthese synapses, they're always creating these different connections in theirbrain. If they only play one sport right there, kind of streamlining theirbrain and then so they don't get all these other things that the multiplesports will give you and create all those new synapses. So I think whenwhen kids are up to a certain age. Obviously, I think the more that theyplay different sports creates their brain in a different way, and so itgives them ability to go out and be a better athlete. You know, like ifyou're a golfer, I still think that you need to be. You can't just golf. Yeah,you can hold your swing, But there's something about being a great athleteand playing golf because you just adjust the things differently. Yeah,well, you know, it's a mental game, but there's still things that you couldlearn from every other sport. And that's what I feel was a success for mewas we just go out and we play and you learn in your brain. Just works like Ididn't have anybody teaching me how to throw a ball. Ah, football. Yeah, mydad did when we came home from the factory, but I think it's kids. Themore you can play, the more you could do the more your brain expands and it'sjust like playing the piano or learning music and all those things, the moreyou can do. I think the more your brain works and the more you're gonna be ableto take in. And so, um, as you get older, I really believe that if youhave that well rounded base, then it's gonna be better for you rather than anarrow lane that answers your question at all. Yeah. Does I agree it couldn'tagree more. E remember hearing, uh,...

...interview with key Malaga one GreatChema Lodge one. I don't know how closely followed basketball grasp allenough to remember his dream shake move that he basically the Dow's did leadwith for years. You know, he said he owed that to training. Is a soccerplayer in Nigeria when he was growing up? That this When you're for those whofollow soccer, when you're defending your coming back toward your goal withthe ball, you can send the ball back to the goalkeeper or you can try to turnback upfield, and what he do is he step over it looking like he's gonna passthe goalkeeper and then pivot and come back around. And that was thefundamental move of his dream shake. So, without soccer, I don't think we havethe Hall of Fame. Came allows you on basketball player. Well, that's why you know, I havetalking, You know about football internationally the other day, andthere's a lot of countries that don't really throw. You know, they don't havebaseball, they don't have football. They don't really throw a ball in sometype of sport where they're using their feet more. And so when it comes tofinding somebody who can play quarterback or be a picture from overoverseas, it's a lot harder because they don't have those sports. Sothey're not, you know, increasing there. They're not able to do those things. Sowe see that happen a lot. And, you know, I think as a kid, I'm hard in othercountries to get more sports in. But you know, I have a friend in Europe. Hesays, Yeah, there when you're never gonna find a quarterback coming fromEurope, usually, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. So s so. Youget into high school now. You've created some great friendships. Sportshas really come along for you. Um what high school did you end up attendingdown there? And, you know, did you continue toe to play multiple sports asyou were growing up? Yeah, I did. So I tend to MontgomeryBlair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Montgomery County. I playedother sports up through middle school, got the high school, and I focusedprincipally on soccer in high school. Regret it. I wish I wish that I playedother sports to high school as well. But it was the beginning of the timewhen, you know, clubs sports were getting big and there was a, uh, a bitof a pressure to play year round. And so I started playing year round soccer,enjoyed it, loved it. I would have enjoyed playing some of the sportsSillas well, But my I've got extraordinary memories from high schoolsoccer, and that experience in high school is to shaped me a lot of ways aswell. So then, how do you get Thio? I understand, like you went into. Ithink you went to Brown. Is that correct from high school? That'scorrect. So you went to Brown, which is what? What? Brown's past fail, right?If you could a time anyway, it may still be the case, but at the time youcould choose past failed as many courses you wanted. I was stronglyencouraged by my mother not to do that. So I took maybe one or two past failedper year. But you could go all the way past fails. It was very interesting.Innovative curriculum. Yeah, I told my son Gunnar that he was like, Oh, thatsounds like really It's really nice. I like to take pass fail classes. I said,Well, it doesn't make it any easier. They're still pretty tough onespecially a Brown, because when he was coming out of high school, he went tomultiple universities to see where he would end up going to William and Mary.So it was good school. So a brown. So when did you get this kind of, um, like,what did you study? Because I'm trying to get toe. You know, when you're inhigh school, Well, in high school, we don't really know what we wanna be ordo. Did you kind of have an idea or did you When you got the brown kind of havean idea of more of what you wanted to dio, I kind of had an idea in highschool and crystallized in a brown I I wanted I knew that I wanted to be acivil rights lawyer. I wanted to focus on civil rights and the Movement forCivil Rights. And so even entering Brown, my goal was to become a civilrights lawyer, go to law school, become a civil rights lawyer afterwards. So Istudied public policy and African American studies at Brown with an eyetoward going to law school. Well, is there something that happened, or youknow, something that occurred in your life? Why you you wanted to take thatpath? I mean, obviously, I'm sure you have stories, but, you know, there'ssomething specific that said, This is what I want to do. I got to try andchange this. And I believe I could do that. Yeah, actually, when I was young, Idon't know what year it waas, Gus, When when the The theories Roots by AlexHaley came out on television. And I remember watching that whenever it cameout, I remember I was watching the second grade and e go back and wonderif I should have watched it that early because it was extremely scary. Ofcourse, it tells the story of this one family from being, uh, one individualbeing kidnapped in West Africa brought...

...across the sea with the transatlanticslave trade and then that family enduring slavery and then ultimately,uh, getting to emancipation on. It was pretty scary to watch, but it had anextraordinary impact on me. It was startling, frightening for me to seethe way in which people have been treated. And I felt as though if I wereable to get myself to a place where I had the education that would be helpfulin doing it. I want to try to do what I could. Thio increased equal opportunityacross the board. Well, you actually lived there. Sothere's probably things going through your head that said I couldn't imagineif I was a kid. I was living here and somebody kidnapped me. I'm sure thatall those kind of thoughts went through your head because you made that journeyin a different way to the States and obviously, you know, and so all thosethings, I just can't imagine what what thoughts were going through your headas a as a child? Yeah, it was very It was very confusing on terrifying. Iremember walking home from the but it's a long time I thought about the stuff.I remember walking home from the bus in the second grade, being afraid I'd bekidnapped. It and it Didn't. You know, I'm in suburban Maryland? Pretty, youknow, stable area. Quite a progressive town. But I remember having that fearand walking home really fast. Looking over my shoulder on dso Yes, it wasconfusing. It was Skerry. As I grew older, I learned more about variousother examples throughout the world of of injustice, societal injustice andand persecution. And I just knew that I wanted to have something to do withwith civil rights or human rights. Yeah. So, uh, I kind of wanna bring it backto sports a little bit because I always felt like sports is a place where someof that, you know, I don't know how you felt. I mean, I want to hear from you,but how? Some of that can kind of dissipate a little bit, you know,compared to really society being crossing the white line, playing sportswas a little different. Or did you see it? Not the same growing up? No. Ifound it to be a next roar dinero you neither and an opportunity to get toknow people moving past any sort of superficial, you know, exteriorindications. And so the school I went to Montgomery Blair High School,extremely diverse school, our soccer team. Gus, we must have had people from,I guess we have about 18 persons Squad. We must have had people from nine or 10countries speaking five or so languages altogether. And, you know, we trainedtogether, you know, for months and played together when on road tripstogether and without question and broke down barriers, people became friendswho might not otherwise have been friends. And more than that, people gotto learn about cultures they might not have got to learn about otherwise. Andthose experiences and sensibilities, I think, travel with people as they movethrough life. That's certainly traveled with me is I've moved through life. SoI believe sport has an extraordinary role to play in society. Um, inbringing us together and you mentioned earlier kind of all the things you know,our countries in the interesting place. I think sport has a role, um, to bringus to a place where there is more unity. I think There's too much division weneed more unity in sport can help. Yeah. I really think that sport, nomatter what your background is in all the years that I played football,people come from different backgrounds. Come from the city, the country, youname it. You know, I grew up. We don't have any money, You know, we and youget to know people for who they are, because you are all fighting for thesame one common goal. And it didn't matter where you were from. You knewthat you were there for a reason and a purpose toe, whatever that was to winthe game, to win the championship. And you were doing that together, and thatbrought us together. And I feel like we are not doing that at all as a country,because I don't know if a lot of people know what that means or what that feelslike. Yeah, that's a great point. Is that Ithink a lot of people don't know what it feels like. What it means to get toknow somebody from a different background of a different culturespeaks a different language. Different skin color. Ah, lot of people don'tknow what it means to get to know people who are different in those ways.And if everybody had the opportunity to do that, we'd be in a much better place.Because then you get to see the beauty that there is in the world. Thediversity of thought that this could be a strength and not a weakness on. Doyou know Sport did that for me? It sounds like sports done that for you.And, you know, I wish everybody had access to some means of doing that. AndI think sports is one such means. Yeah.

No, I agree. So, like when I left highschool and I go to Tulsa University, I have an instant family because I'm onthe football team. I'm recruited by them, right? I'm there before schooleven starts. And I'm doing all these things and I'm creating friendships.When you went to Brown, what was that step like? Did you have todo with alittle harder to find that family? Or did it take you a while? How was thatfor you? Yeah, I had a great experience of brown. I did not play sports ofBrown simply wasn't good enough. I was decent high school. I think that wasn'tgood enough to play soccer. Brown on dso I didn't have that ready madefamily that you described, which I had going into high school. Quite frankly,Didn't have it going into college, so it took a little bit longer. Um, butBrown doesn't really. I mean, Brown is serious about the things that we justtalked about about breaking down cultural barriers and on buildingbridges. And so there were programs put in place from before your pre frostBefore you even start up through your first year in going forward that aredesigned to develop, you know, family to develop a sense of togetherness ofthe university. And so that's why I had a good experience there. Yeah, I would assume like it reallyhelps that you know what you want to do. Because when I'm in college like I knew,I wanted to play football. But as far as class goes, and who I was gonna beoff the field, I didn't have a clue. So that must have been It probably feltgood that you knew that and you knew what track you wanted to take so thatyou could really, um, succeed in all that, because I think that's important.You know, I tell kids all the time. If I could learn anything from playing 15years in the NFL, it's like I should have continued my education. I shouldhave done other things so that when I was done, there's an easy transitionfor me and something else I love to dio. And that transition for me has beenvery difficulty because I didn't do those things while I was playing thegame. Hey, we're talking to Jeremy Douroux, professor of law at AmericanUniversity. We're gonna take a short break and we'll be right back in the 1631 digital news studio EP. The multi format network is here to help create,produce, distribute and sell your content from, or information. Send amessage to info at a m p dot TV. That's info at double a M p dot tv. Hi, thisis former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte, 16 31. Digital advertising is your onestop shop to promote your business and get new customers for award winningcreative to getting as online in display video O T. T connected TV andstreaming audio go to 16 31 digital advertising dot com. Has someone inyour family lost a job recently and now you can't afford your mortgage payment?Or do you have a rental property? And your tenants aren't paying you quickcash offer can come to the rescue and pay you cash for your home immediately.Yes, sell your home and get cash all over the phone without dealing withreal estate agents and risking your safety by showing your home to lukewarmbuyers. You don't need to lose your home to foreclosure. If you have anyequity in your home, we will buy it and give you cash within days. All in asimple over the phone and virtual process called quick cash Offer. Now,before the economy gets worse, sell a home you can't afford or just don'twant to get the cash you need. Today. 804 707113 804 707113 804 707113 That's804 70 71 13 Hey, K s I X listeners, you got a new show coming your way.Join me. Gus Frerotte, 15 year NFL Q B and host of Huddle Up with Gus EverySunday morning at 10 a.m. I talked to celebrities, veterans and professionalslike Matthew McConaughey and Dick for Mill about how sports shaped their life.Join Gus Frerotte and his guests in the 16 31 digital news studio on Huddle UpWith Gus every Sunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio. Okay, s I X. Welcomeback, everyone. Thanks for joining us in the new 16 31 digital new studioproduced by AMP. TV. You can find us on Huddle up with gusts dot com. Now let'sjoin the huddle. Hey, we're back on e. We're talkingwith Jeremy Do, uh, Jeremy, we were talking about, you know, yourexperience of Brown and I was kind of talking and we lost a little bit there,and I want to get back into When did you know that I want to continue thisand tell me about that experience going to Harvard Law? Because I think that'sa huge step in and anybody can have that experience. It's an amazingexperience, and probably for you, it's...

...one step closer to what you reallywanna do in your life. Yeah, that's right. That's right. I mean, a Z. Imentioned I always wanted to be a civil rights lawyer on DSO finishing collegeand applying the law school was a was a big thing for me. I mean, you know,getting into law school was the first real concrete step I saw going in thatdirection. I was very fortunate to get in. Uh, Harvard on once there began toreally explore the ways in which I could study civil rights law and thinkabout ways in which it truly could be helpful, impactful in society. And soit was It was a wonderful experience to go. There was a great privilege. I'venever been around such intellectual rigor ous I was there. I mean, it wasit was not. There was no picnic. I mean, it was it was very challenging,enjoyable, but very, very challenging on it armed me with the education thatI needed to, uh, you know, to get into the civil rights space. And ultimatelyit will talk about the sports slash civil rights space. But but you Harvardwas an incredible opportunity and experience for me. I'm very thankfuland grateful for Yes. So that's what exactly what I was gonna ask you next.So you go through Harvard Law, which is very rigorous, like you said. So whendid the sports aspect coming to play for you? Was it while you were therewas after you left and and tell us about what you did when you left school?Sure. Yeah, No. So came later. I mean, I'd always loved sport. That's still,you know, played sport. Harvard Law School at a, you know, had a littletraveling soccer team. We traveled up to Dartmouth and other places to play.Uh, you know, the play games against other law school teams. Um, but I neverthought about combining sport with my love for for civil rights until Ijoined a small civil rights law firm. After I graduated from school, Iclerked for a judge for a year. I went to a large law firm for a couple ofyears because I was totally broken at the pay off my debts. And once I wasable to get a hold on my debts, I went to a small civil rights firm which iswhat I always wanted to do. And we did principally employment discriminationwork. And while I was there, um, the the firm began to work with coaches inthe NFL who were concerned, um, that there wasn't as much opportunity forthem as there could be because of race. And I was asked by the firm toe work onthat matter. And when I started working on that matter, Gus, that's when I hadthat eureka moment that you're telling me I can focus on my intellectualpassion of civil rights as well as the thing I enjoy most in life, which issports, and bring them together and form a career around them. And Irealized I was a possibility, and I haven't turned back. I've been studyingsporting society since then. Yeah, that's amazing. And so tell meabout maybe the first team or the first group that that you went in and kind oflooked into because you have to do a lot of research I'm sure to try. Andwhen you go and try toe, create a new role. There's so much research that youprobably had to do and find all the discrimination over the years of ofwhat happened to prove that this is actually happening, right? Because I'mI'm assuming that you found some roadblocks along the way. Yes, yes. Andthe fact. So the seminal study was this right? Right before I got into the lawfirm, the one of the main partners in the law firm, together together withanother lawyer, put together a study. They were concerned in 2000 and onethat the NFL had 32 head coaches. And after Dennis Screen was fired by theVikings and Tony Dungy was fired by the Bucks, there was one head coach ofcolor. So you've got a league 70% roughly with the players are of color32 head coach opportunities only one of color. And that seemed disproportionateto these thes lawyers. And so they got together. And they asked a um, a laboreconomist at University of Pennsylvania to put together a study exploring thewin loss records of all coaches in the league by race going back 15 years. So2000 and one back to 1986. And the results were stunning in the first yearthat an African American head coach was in the was in the seat. Thea, AfricanAmerican head coach, 12.7 mortgage games per season, the non AfricanAmerican head coaches. And then the year they were fired, it was 1.3 MAWRand this courses in a 16 game season. And so the numbers seemed to showpretty clearly that the African Americans who were getting the jobwe're doing the job. But it was harder for me to get the job, and they werefired. MAWR more quickly on DSO. The...

...lawyers took this study to the NFL, andto the credit of the NFL, Paul Tagliabue was the commissioner than thethree general counsel was Jeff Pash. They said, You know what the stats are?Really, we can't dispute them. We don't want to dispute them. We recognize thatwe've got a diversity challenge off of the field. And so they put together a.It was called the Workplace Diversity Committee, shared by Dan Rooney, andthat committee, together with the lawyers, came up with this concept ofthe Rooney Rule and Rooney rule before. I'm sure we'll talk about more. I cameinto play and I joined the firm just after the rule came into play, andwe're figuring out how it would apply. So, you know, I'm thinking about DanRooney. The Rooney role. When you came into that, what were your expectations? And thenwhen you got there, what did you realize? Like Okay, this is better, orthis is worse than I thought. Um, it's kind of what I thought, you know, It'skind of what I thought I expected that there would be headwinds that facecoaches of color for a number of reasons. You know, one is that there'sa tremendous amount, you know, football. Listen, I've never been in the NFL.I've I've worked with the NFL. But, Gus, you were in the NFL, and, um, therereally is. And it is a familiar thing. It really is a small community. Youknow, A lot of families have histories in the lead. There's a great deal oflineage on African Americans who were kicked out of the league in thethirties, brought back in the allowed to come back into the mid forties,didn't really start to see more, uh, numbers until the sixties. They justdidn't have the lineage. And so I figured there'd be headwinds and bechallenges and people of color getting opportunities off of the field. Andthat proved to be the case, really, Across the league, some some clubs arebetter than others. The Steelers certainly were were a torch bear withrespect to diversion, equal opportunity. The The Cowboys also made some progressthere early, but it was a It was a challenge across the league. I thinkeverybody could acknowledge that, Um and so what some people will say allthe time is that, well, they still need to take the best person for the job.And, you know, my argument always is well, but they don't you know, it'smore of what you said. There's some There's some lineage in there that, uh,their family. But that happens in corporate America. That happenseverywhere, and these owners have. Ah, you know, there's only 32 of them. It'sa big, big company. So tell me about how the Rooney rule really goes into,uh, the diversity and helping these owners understand that, Yeah, it isn'talways the best person for the job. Yeah, that's a great question. So youknow the idea. The Rooney rule simple. It's, you know, I think it's beentwisted and mischaracterized at times to suggest that it's some sort of aquota system, which it absolutely is not. All the Rooney rule says is thatwhen you've got, let's say, head coach opening, you have to interview oneperson of color for the job. That's it. That's it. You don't have to hire theperson. You just have to interview them for the job now. The NFL altered therule this past spring, and now it's two people of color for a head coachposition. If you're looking for a GM or a coordinator, its's one person ofcolor. But the idea is just to get people in the room who might not havebeen in the room. There's a guy named John Wooten, how he played for theWashington club for a year and the Browns for 10 years before that back inthe fifties and sixties, and he's kind of known as the godfather of theMovement for equal opportunity off the field in the national football that youcan. He was a unexamined a tive for the Cowboys back with Tex Schramm, and hesaid they had all sorts of conversations about diversity and andultimately, you know, Tex Schramm said, Listen, you know, I understand all thatyou're saying, Onda. We need to try to diversify. But the bottom line is, ifI'm running a club, I know who I want, you know, for the coaching position andnobody should tell me and John's response and it goes to what you justsaid. Gus Waas, You're right, you know who you want and that's fine. Nobody'sgonna debate that. But the question shouldn't be who you want for the job.The question should be Who will be best for the job? And if you're focused onwho you want, you might not be able to figure out who would be best. You won'tbe casting a wide net to figure out who will be best. So if you want your teamto be a zoo, good as it could be, then you should not focus on who you want.You really have to work to figure out...

...how you can get the best candidate, andthe Rooney rule is one tool. I believe that can lead an organization thatdirection. Well, if you think about what it's opened up, really for the NFL.I mean, we I think we have three or four women coaching now, like the equalopportunity has opened up, not just by race and equality that way, but also bygender. And, you know, we've seen that happen, and I don't have toe say that'sprobably all because of the Rooney rule. I think so. I think so. I mean, that'sa great point, and I think what I mean. So the Rooney rule is what it is wejust described. You know what it's text is, but the idea behind it is openingup your mind, toe, other opportunities, other possibilities you hadn't thoughtabout. And I think you're totally right. I think that's what has led to greaterdiversity for people of color, greater diversity with respect to gender. Iwould I would go so far as to say that it Z increased the opportunities forspecial teams coordinator. You know John Harbaugh, for example. We all knowhe kinda cut his teeth as a special teams coordinator at the time, youtended not to get a head coaching job of the special teams coordinator, but Ithink as the idea of the Rooney rule began to take hold, and some peoplebegan to see Hey, this gives us a competitive advantage by thinkingbroadly about who we might hire. I think organizations began to open uptheir searches and all sorts of ways benefiting all sorts of groups, butthat might not previously have had, you know, real bona fide opportunities toshow what they've got. Well, you know, it goes back tosomething that I learned about Microsoft and some of these other bigcompanies like that that, you know, they were getting kids from all thesetop schools toe kinda, you know, learn about technology thatknew about it, right? They were coming from M I t Harvard and CMU. They wereall the same kids, and they were all the kind of the same mold, right? Sothey weren't getting a lot of different stories. And what they started was aprogram where they were getting kids from different stories and backgrounds.And then when they got to the company, they were teaching them differentthings, right, because sometimes you have to have those different stories toaffect everyone, and I think the NFL to try infect everyone on your team, yourgroup, your company, the people in it, your staff. They need to look like yourteam to They need to be like that. Need to be diverse, right? So that your guyscan connect with somebody can feel like they're part. Just not. I'm just notplaying for you, right? I'm really here. There are people like me, and I get itright. And I think that is also becoming different in the NFL as well.Yeah, I agree. 100%. And you know, there are all sorts of studies thatshow that that diversity makes you makes you better, because diversity ofall sorts. Now, you know, racial diversity, ethnic diversity, genderdiversity, but diversity of thought, diversity of backgrounds, socioeconomicdiversity. It gives you the opportunity to get all sorts of differentperspectives looking at a problem and trying to solve it and just got abetter chance of succeeding, getting a good outcome to, you know, to theproblem. And so I think that, you know, I think that's relevant. Football, theNFL, as much of this relevant, you know, in Silicon Valley or Wall Street, weneed different perspectives to get to the best answers. Yeah, you know, and I think that whenthe owners finally said Okay, this we have a product and how do we make our money off thefans? And we need to bring in as many fans as possible and we can't juststick to one group as well. And I think all of that understanding all of thatwhen you run a business and it's all the same right to me, it's like they'rerunning business. They understand that now. And just like you said, the morediverse your company is, the more people you're gonna affect in the widercast of a net you're gonna have. And I think that the under the NFL and theowners air over. I don't know how many years youthink, but over. You know, the last decade or so they've kind of understoodthat. I think so. I think the NFL certainlyhas. Over the course of I said last 18 years, I think NFL certainly has, youknow, set in the room with Commissioner Goodell on multiple occasions with TroyVincent with Jeff past with others and there's no question they understand it.I think some owners understand it. I'm not sure all owners understand it. Ithink some don't understand it. I think some are resistant to the idea, but Istrongly believe that that creates a competitive disadvantage for thoseowners. So tell me you've been through this now. You've been in these meetings.You've talked to the NFL. You've talked Thio other people. I'm sure you'vetalked a lot of coaches about all of these topics that we've been talkingabout. What drove you to write your book, Advancing the ball? E guess I sawthis extraordinary story. It was unfolding that I knew about because Iwas involved in it as a lawyer. Kind of...

...watching it. Um, but it was a storythat not very many people knew, and I just felt that I had to tell it Nowthis tremendous desire to tell it. And, you know, I had a sabbatical leave fromthe university. What you get when you're pursuing 10 years. I was ayounger professor then and I spent that time just grinding away on the book andtelling the story of how the NFL moved from a league that was viewed asprobably the most resistant to equal opportunity initiatives to a leaguethat adopted the Rooney rule to a league that ultimately benefitted fromthe Rooney rule. So, um, when you were writing this book, we Imean, it has to be like, I'm sure I've never written a book and always said Ishould write a book about my career because it's crazy. But when you'rewriting this book and you start going down and say, Oh, this is a good topic,do you? So tell me about how you piece that all together because you've hadThere's a lot to talk about and I don't know how you stop writing. Yeah, yeah,I know there's a lot of talk about, and by the way, I strongly suggest youwrite a book. It's one of the most I had loved. It had a great time with it.It's an accomplishment. I was going to sit on myself, my kids, my grandkidsafter me, and I think it's a E. I think it's fantastic. So if you ever wannatalk more about that, Gus, let me know. We could talk all about book writingbut knows that it's a it's a big topic and I kind of framed my I did a lot ofinterviews, and they kind of framed what I do. I interviewed CommissionerGoodell. I interviewed Jeff Pash. I interviewed Marvin Lewis and Tony Dungyand John when I interviewed all these folks, um on got a sense as to whattheir various perspectives were one what was happening in the league onThen, Once I had those perspectives, I put together a narrative of how therule came to be kind of looking through their eyes and through their throughtheir experiences. And, you know, one of the the pieces of the book that Ienjoyed the most was talking toe coach Dungy and talking to him about hisexperience. When he was coaching the Colts, they were going into M and TBank Stadium to play the Ravens. And of course, we all know the history of theColts once being the Baltimore Colts, moving to Indianapolis and a tremendousamount of rivalry there and that we're standing all that. His bus driver, uh,you know, said to him, Hey, Coach, I hope you win. And he said that becausehe's known the the tremendous amount of effort that Tony Dungy had put intobecoming a head coach in this league, all the setbacks he's had, theopportunities that have been denied to him over the years. And this this triedand true died in the world. Baltimore resident and fan was still supportingTony Dungy because of what Dungy's journey had meant to him. Right? That'samazing. That's amazing. So when you're writing this book, you seem like a great father. Familyman. How many of the memories of were you growing up coming over from Africagoing through those experience you had and thinking about your kids Whenyou're writing this book? Because, like you mentioned, it's something thatthey'll always have about you. So is there a kind of a part of that thatwhen you were writing would go through your mind? Cause I'm sure I would getemotional telling my story because my family is big to me? Yeah, dedicatedthe book to my kids, Gus and then to my wife is Well, um, but really to my kids,because I mean sport has done so much for me. It's meant so much to me.Personally. I told you the story of coming over from Nigeria. It's meant somuch to me professionally. My entire professional life has been involved atthe intersection of of sport on race and law on Guy had dedicated it to themin the hopes that they, too, will live a life in which they get to benefit. Uh,you know, from sports. And so it was emotional writing it because I wastelling the story of how sport my thesis is that sport can change, theworld can change the country. And we were seeing it happened in the NationalFootball League. And to be able to give that to my kids was it was verymeaningful to me. Been all right. Um, I think that is great. I'd love to givethat to my kids someday, but, you know, they'll probably put it in the backshow. But one thing I one last thing I wanted to ask you. And if I'm a student,I'm in high school and some of these things I have been thinking about and Ikind of want to take the route that you took right. I know that I want to gofight for a certain thing. I want to become a lawyer at some point. Whyshould I come to American University and take your class...

...a tough one? Um, e you know, first ofall, it's a great law school there. Other great law schools to e will sayThen they're they're a handful of individuals who are deeply focused atthe intersection of race and civil rights and law and sport. Um, butdefinitely, I'm one of them. I love this. I love to mentor students. I'm soglad you raised this, Gus, because I was gonna let you know before we gothat I wanted Thio give you my twitter handle. Anybody who is interested inthis sort of stuff. I don't care if they go to American or not. I want themto reach out to me. I love toe, uh, speak with them, uh, offer insights andpay it forward. But if they do come to American law school, um, then theycould study under me. Andi, I guarantee they'll have a time at school wherethey're able to focus on the issues that they care about. And let's face it,you know, education can be an extraordinary experience, andeventually you're done schooling and you have to go out into the real world.But while your school and you want to be able to study what it is that thatdrives you and you come to American University, you're interested in theintersection of foreign society. I'll be there waiting for you. So have youever had a class where you taught and you were just fist pump and you werelike, Yeah, that's it, Like, you know, where I've thrown five touchdowns inthe game and you're like, That's just a great feeling. Have you ever had thatclass where you're like, I'm gonna nail this today? Because this is soimportant. And I'm gonna drive it into all my students heads and they got itand you leave and you just super excited. Yeah, I have a couple of a couple ofoccasions. One time was about, um, three importance of being understandingof and respecting and supporting athletes ability to protest. Um, andanother was talking through the Rooney rule with students who had legitimatequestions and concerns and getting to a place where we saw three rulespossibility, despite, um, the areas in which it could be in improved Soabsolutely, I've had that feeling now. I've not had the feeling of throwingfive touchdowns. I'd like to have that feeling. I don't know what that feelslike. You can because you're a soccer player. E especially of Orange Way. Ilove what I do. But if I had the chance just toe, you know, like the Field ofDreams movie, if I had the chance just to play professionally for, you know,one day, one week, one month, I think it would be extraordinary. So you haveto tell me what it feels like to throw five touchdowns. It's a pretty amazingfeeling. The thing that you remember most are the guys that landed on top ofyou or hit you the hardest. So sometimes that's even worse. So I hopeyou never experienced that because that's not the fun part, the fun partof starting five touchdowns and beating the San Diego Chargers in my highstadium. That's that's a lot of fun. I'm sure it is. I'm sure it iss soJeremy, I learned a lot today. I'd love to stay connected with you and sendyour questions about things because I think this is one of the most importanttopics we could ever touch in our society. And so tell us and tell peoplein all my fans how they could get ahold of you where they can follow you. Andyou know where they can find out all your information in your book. Great. Thanks. Garcia, I want to stayin conversation with you on this and anybody who wants to be in conversation.Uh, my, uh, my length and you can get me there. Jeremy, do rue on Twitter atN Jeremy do room So and J e r e m i d. You are you. You can always find me anAmerican University law school. In my book is every place for books, or sothe Amazon, Barnes and noble dot com and everywhere else. Well, hey, I know we don't have enoughtime to talk about everything we should talk about. Maybe we can come backanother day and and continue the podcast because, you know, there's justthings about you mentioned player protest and how that was handled. Andthen we see what what really protests should should. You know, they say it is,but it's not right. And so the comparisons are really terrible. And,you know, I like to say we're on the right side, but we need to continueconversation. And I hope sport can bring us all together and not divide us.I hope the same Gus is a pleasure to be on. Happy to come back anytime. Allright, Jeremy, thank you for being on Huddle up with Gus. Everyone, What agreat episode. I hope you learned a little bit today and please followJeremy, Um, if you get the chance and wanna learn mawr about everything he isdoing thank you for joining us in the new 16. 31 digital news studio. Andplease listen to us wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. We will be onsounder pretty soon, so thank you again.

I hope you enjoy the episode and we'llsee you next week. EMP, The multi format network is hereto help create, produce, distribute and sell your content from, or information.Send a message to info at a m p dot tv. That's info at double A m p dot tv. Hey,K s I X listeners, you got a new show coming your way. Join me gusta rot. 15year NFL Q B and host of Huddle Up with Gus Every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Italked to celebrities, veterans and professionals like Matthew McConaugheyand Dick for Mill, about how sports shaped their life. Joined Gus Ferratand his guests in the 16 31 digital news studio on Huddle Up With Gus EverySunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio K s I X and now we'll huddle up withGus Bonus clip brought to you by 16 31 Digital news. For more information, goto 16 31 digital news dot com. Hello, everyone, and welcome to huddle up withGus. I'm your host, Gust Ferrat and thank you for joining us. You can findus on Huddle up with gus dot com on. You can also find us on radio dot com.And wherever you listen to your favorite podcast, you are joining ustoday in the new 16 31 digital news studio, and we're glad to be producedby an TV. We're excited to be on K s I X. You can find us there on Sundaymornings at 10 a.m. Right before the NFL get started. Today is a great day.We were joined this week by a great guest who grew up in Texas, told usabout how sports shaped his life. Matthew McConaughey joined us. Sat downwith us this week, gave us a lot of insight that we didn't really knowabout him. Matthew and I were friends back in the days when I played with theRedskins, the Washington football team. And it's kind of funny when we sat andtalked about all these green lights that he has because of his new bookcalled Green Lights. Ah, lot of things had to go back and forth. You know, wetalked about the old days and what was the old days? It was a Redskins. Wetalked about the New Days and how Daniel Snyder might call him to helphim name the Washington football team. But you know, the insights that Matthewgave us into his life, all the green lights that have helped him through hislife, the way he took his journals, wrote his story down, went out into thedesert. Took took quite a few days. I think it was over 50 days. A differentperiods of time to write his new book and to really hopefully help us allturned those yellow and red lights into green lights to move our life forward.And I really hope you enjoy this episode. And now I think we should joinThe huddle. Thing is the greatest. Here's a great example on There's a lotof debate about the eyes of Texas right now, so I don't want to get into thatdebate. But I will get into what I think is beautiful about the ritual ofus singing that song way. Sing that song win or lose Now the reallybeautiful part is that we sing that song when we lose, because what is itbasically saying? We have a long view here. We may have lost the battle today,but we're going to win the war. Um, that's a sense of pride in history andtradition and expectations about the long future we're gonna head into as auniversity that I that I really like, um, it's there's there's a greatentrenched enriched tradition and expectation of excellence on a halo ofexcellence that is expected for being a long one. Hey, green lights go to green lightsdot com. You want to find out you get the book there, but it's in anybookstore all over all over the world right now. I mean, from the from theyour local bookstores to your Barnes and nobles, it's It's out there, Um,and the audible version is out there, too, Which I do read and I perform.Look, Thio say, how do you know a Nalco? See you later. Here's to catching and creating Maura,these green lights in our own lives and in other people's lives. And I wouldsay this, You know, a lot of times we think that creating a green light inour own life and in someone else's life we often think that's a contradiction,that those two don't go together. But I don't believe it's true. There's wayswhich we could make a choice that is both selfish for us, us and self lessand the best choice for the most amount of people as well. And that's the placeI hope we get to, especially right now at a time in our nation where we havesuch great divide. We gotta start. We gotta figure out I would trust eachother again. We gotta figure out how to believe in each other again on, and Ithink it's through our values where we can say, you know what, That's a leastHave a conversation, even though we may...

...not have the same point of view or thesame politics. E became early on, Growing up in Longview, Texas, about2.5 hours east of Dallas, I became a what was then called the WashingtonRedskins fan, which now called the Washington football team. And it wasbecause of a few simple reasons that a four year old mind we'll fall in lovewith the team. I mean, watching Westerns with my dad, and I'm rootingfor the American Indians on horseback. I like the guys with the arrows intothe guns after that. Favorite Foods hamburgers, Redskins got a middlelinebacker, Chris Hamburger Watch another great reason like this team. SoI was a big underdog in Texas, obviously, especially growing upoutside of Dallas to be what was then called a Redskin fan. Um, there was oneguy across the street, Scott Smith, who actually was the only other risk in FanI knew in Texas. I used to go to the Texas Stadium, painted, uh, shirtless,painted burgundy on top with the headdress, and you know the sham isused to drive a car off with. Yeah, I'd have a shammy wrapped around my waistwith the rope tying it on. I'll be barefoot and I'll be right there on the50 yard line. Uh, in Texas Stadium, when the Redskins would play theCowboys. I was at, as you know, the last game at RFK. The first game ofjacket cook in the first game at FedEx. I have Burgundy soil in a mason jarfrom the end zone of RFK. Hey, Cassie X listeners. You got a newshow coming your way. Join me. Gus Frerotte, 15 year NFL Q B and host ofHuddle Up with Gusts every Sunday morning at 10 AM I talked tocelebrities, veterans and professionals like Matthew McConaughey and Dick forMill about how sports shaped their life. Join Gus Ferrat and his guests in the16 31 digital news studio on Huddle Up with Gus every Sunday at 10 a.m. Hereon sports radio. Okay, s I X am multi format network is here to help createfrom or information. Send a message to info at double a. M p dot TV. Hassomeone in your family lost a job recently and now you can't afford yourmortgage payment? Or do you have a rental property and your tenants aren'tpaying you quick cash offer can come to the rescue and pay you cash for yourhome immediately. Yes, sell your home and get cash all over the phone withoutdealing with real estate agents and risking your safety by showing yourhome to lukewarm buyers. You don't need to lose your home to foreclosure. Ifyou have any equity in your home, we will buy it and give you cash withindays. All in a simple over the phone and virtual process. Call quick cashoffer now, before the economy gets worse, sell a home you can't afford orjust don't want to get the cash you need. Today. 804 707113 804 707113 804707113 That's 804 70 71 13.

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