Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 1 year 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 16 31 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 you could listen to us on the new radio dot com apple wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, while in the huddle, our guests describe how sports shaped their life. Now let's join the huddle. Hey, welcome to another episode of Huddle Up With Us. I'm your host gust for a 15 year NFL quarterback and I'm coming 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, and you can find us wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Also, we just came 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 to get into some serious topics, um, fun topics, but what our country has been through the last year. If you look at the sports kind of world, probably even longer than that. But I think we're going to get into some good topics. And I'm really excited to have Jeremy do Ruan, Uh, he's written a book called Advancing the Ball. It's all about Race and equality in the NFL. Jeremy is a professor of law at American University, Down in D. C. I know those grounds very well, but Jeremy, thanks for joining us in the huddle today. How are you? I'm well, 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. You did a lot of that work. You understand all that, What is supposed to be and you know we're gonna get into Is it working? Is it not working today? But before we start that I wanted to get into you know, where you grew up. And what was the first memory you had? Uh, when you fell in love with sports, was it just playing in the backyard? Was it apparent? Wasn't an uncle. We all have a different story and I want I kind of want to know, you know where sports started for you. It's a great question. Um, sports a big part of my life, always loved playing them. I love working sport now I'd say the first memory really indelible memories for Gaza. So I 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 kindergarten in Nigeria. My father's from there and moved back to this country when I was six. Felt very out of place. E had an accent that was different. Clothes were different. Everything else but Nigeria is a big soccer playing nation, so I grew up just playing soccer over there. And so when I got here, I felt a little bit alienated. Went out for recess in the game that the kids play, the recess was soccer. You know, 50 kids just on on a huge field, kicking the ball around, and that was good and better than most. And it gave me an opportunity to meet people through being viewed of someone who could play soccer reasonably well and that kind of, uh that was my entree into a number of friendships here in the United States that I still maintain today. So soccer was a way for me to enter a new society without soccer, I think it would have been a much more rocky. Yes. So, uh, tell us the difference between how soccer is viewed when you were growing up here in the United States compared to Nigeria, because I would assume that's pretty big in Nigeria. And maybe it takes on a kind of NFL feeling. Um, like the U. S has Yeah, 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 on DSO. It's interesting, you know, coming here. Particularly then we're talking about the late seventies early eighties. Soccer was quite disrespected as a sport in the United States, and so I was coming to a place where not that many people play that our loved it knew much about it. In Nigeria. It was everything, 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 of the country suburban Maryland, where a lot of kids played. And so it was viewed as a as an asset to know about the game, to be able to play the game. Well, I bet you were king of the kickball. I mean, then I mean, you probably had a stronger leg than everybody else. And then if you guys played kick, I know we played kickball the time growing up, you know, when we had recess and things like that. Uh, so I'm sure, like with with you coming from there and playing soccer or you probably king and kickball, you...

...probably first taking I was dominant on the playground. And then, with every year that passed since then have become less and less dominant. You and me, both you and me both. I only I could kick a ball anymore. Uh, but but it's been yes, that was important to me, a za 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 can change the world and And from that early experience, I knew the power of sport really been involved with it ever since. So then when you move back, you're playing 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 its all time. It's, you know, for parents driving you every place. But back when we were kids, there was a lot of pickup games. Kids playing outside eso Did you do a lot of that? And did you start playing other sports? Or was it just mainly 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. We played during the fall on playgrounds. We also played football way, played baseball in the spring, played basketball in the winter and the summer in the playgrounds. Um, anytime it snowed, any time it snowed, we place no football. Without question, that's the best game ever. Best game ever. Best game ever, without any strictures. As you said, you just play there. No coaches around or no parents telling you what to do. Just kids playing. It was beautiful. It was beautiful gusts. And it's one thing that I really lament is that youth sports has become so strict shirred and such a big industry that I think a lot of that pure joy that I had as a youth that I just described 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 in their garage in their shed out back. You know, we just said, Hey, bring it that day and we'll figure out what we're playing. And, uh, you know, we I didn't grow up in a big town, but, you know, we all rode our bikes, went to the fields, we did what we could. And like you said, we didn't have parents around. We don't have referees. Somebody got hurt. If somebody disagreed, you settled it and you went home and you came back out the next day and have fun again. And and we missed a lot of that, and I I really miss that even for my kids. I mean, I can remember while I was playing my wife drove them all over God's green Earth just to get to practices and games for every sport. And it really is sad. It is. It is sad. It's very different. And that, of course, for you, Gus, which is what do you think? A zey general matter produces the better athlete because there a lot of studies on this, and I posit and I think a lot of people agree. Some differ that the generalist, as they're growing up, becomes ultimately the better athlete rather than the person who specialized at the age of eight. They play only once for going forward. Well, if you think what they tell us, how the child's brain doesn't really stop growing until a certain age right, and they're always creating these synapses, they're always creating these different connections in their brain. If they only play one sport right there, kind of streamlining their brain and then so they don't get all these other things that the multiple sports will give you and create all those new synapses. So I think when when kids are up to a certain age. Obviously, I think the more that they play different sports creates their brain in a different way, and so it gives them ability to go out and be a better athlete. You know, like if you'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 athlete and 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 could learn from every other sport. And that's what I feel was a success for me was we just go out and we play and you learn in your brain. Just works like I didn't have anybody teaching me how to throw a ball. Ah, football. Yeah, my dad did when we came home from the factory, but I think it's kids. The more you can play, the more you could do the more your brain expands and it's just like playing the piano or learning music and all those things, the more you can do. I think the more your brain works and the more you're gonna be able to take in. And so, um, as you get older, I really believe that if you have that well rounded base, then it's gonna be better for you rather than a narrow lane that answers your question at all. Yeah. Does I agree it couldn't agree more. E remember hearing, uh,...

...interview with key Malaga one Great Chema Lodge one. I don't know how closely followed basketball grasp all enough to remember his dream shake move that he basically the Dow's did lead with for years. You know, he said he owed that to training. Is a soccer player in Nigeria when he was growing up? That this When you're for those who follow soccer, when you're defending your coming back toward your goal with the ball, you can send the ball back to the goalkeeper or you can try to turn back upfield, and what he do is he step over it looking like he's gonna pass the goalkeeper and then pivot and come back around. And that was the fundamental move of his dream shake. So, without soccer, I don't think we have the Hall of Fame. Came allows you on basketball player. Well, that's why you know, I have talking, You know about football internationally the other day, and there's a lot of countries that don't really throw. You know, they don't have baseball, they don't have football. They don't really throw a ball in some type of sport where they're using their feet more. And so when it comes to finding somebody who can play quarterback or be a picture from over overseas, it's a lot harder because they don't have those sports. So they're not, you know, increasing there. They're not able to do those things. So we see that happen a lot. And, you know, I think as a kid, I'm hard in other countries to get more sports in. But you know, I have a friend in Europe. He says, Yeah, there when you're never gonna find a quarterback coming from Europe, usually, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. So s so. You get into high school now. You've created some great friendships. Sports has really come along for you. Um what high school did you end up attending down there? And, you know, did you continue toe to play multiple sports as you were growing up? Yeah, I did. So I tend to Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Montgomery County. I played other sports up through middle school, got the high school, and I focused principally on soccer in high school. Regret it. I wish I wish that I played other sports to high school as well. But it was the beginning of the time when, you know, clubs sports were getting big and there was a, uh, a bit of 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 sports Sillas well, But my I've got extraordinary memories from high school soccer, and that experience in high school is to shaped me a lot of ways as well. So then, how do you get Thio? I understand, like you went into. I think you went to Brown. Is that correct from high school? That's correct. 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 you could choose past failed as many courses you wanted. I was strongly encouraged by my mother not to do that. So I took maybe one or two past failed per 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, that sounds 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 on especially a Brown, because when he was coming out of high school, he went to multiple 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 in high school, Well, in high school, we don't really know what we wanna be or do. Did you kind of have an idea or did you When you got the brown kind of have an idea of more of what you wanted to dio, I kind of had an idea in high school and crystallized in a brown I I wanted I knew that I wanted to be a civil rights lawyer. I wanted to focus on civil rights and the Movement for Civil Rights. And so even entering Brown, my goal was to become a civil rights lawyer, go to law school, become a civil rights lawyer afterwards. So I studied public policy and African American studies at Brown with an eye toward going to law school. Well, is there something that happened, or you know, something that occurred in your life? Why you you wanted to take that path? I mean, obviously, I'm sure you have stories, but, you know, there's something specific that said, This is what I want to do. I got to try and change this. And I believe I could do that. Yeah, actually, when I was young, I don't know what year it waas, Gus, When when the The theories Roots by Alex Haley came out on television. And I remember watching that whenever it came out, I remember I was watching the second grade and e go back and wonder if I should have watched it that early because it was extremely scary. Of course, it tells the story of this one family from being, uh, one individual being kidnapped in West Africa brought...

...across the sea with the transatlantic slave trade and then that family enduring slavery and then ultimately, uh, getting to emancipation on. It was pretty scary to watch, but it had an extraordinary impact on me. It was startling, frightening for me to see the way in which people have been treated. And I felt as though if I were able to get myself to a place where I had the education that would be helpful in doing it. I want to try to do what I could. Thio increased equal opportunity across the board. Well, you actually lived there. So there's probably things going through your head that said I couldn't imagine if I was a kid. I was living here and somebody kidnapped me. I'm sure that all those kind of thoughts went through your head because you made that journey in a different way to the States and obviously, you know, and so all those things, I just can't imagine what what thoughts were going through your head as a as a child? Yeah, it was very It was very confusing on terrifying. I remember 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 be kidnapped. It and it Didn't. You know, I'm in suburban Maryland? Pretty, you know, stable area. Quite a progressive town. But I remember having that fear and walking home really fast. Looking over my shoulder on dso Yes, it was confusing. It was Skerry. As I grew older, I learned more about various other examples throughout the world of of injustice, societal injustice and and persecution. And I just knew that I wanted to have something to do with with civil rights or human rights. Yeah. So, uh, I kind of wanna bring it back to sports a little bit because I always felt like sports is a place where some of 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 sports was a little different. Or did you see it? Not the same growing up? No. I found it to be a next roar dinero you neither and an opportunity to get to know people moving past any sort of superficial, you know, exterior indications. 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 10 countries speaking five or so languages altogether. And, you know, we trained together, you know, for months and played together when on road trips together and without question and broke down barriers, people became friends who might not otherwise have been friends. And more than that, people got to learn about cultures they might not have got to learn about otherwise. And those experiences and sensibilities, I think, travel with people as they move through life. That's certainly traveled with me is I've moved through life. So I believe sport has an extraordinary role to play in society. Um, in bringing 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 bring us to a place where there is more unity. I think There's too much division we need more unity in sport can help. Yeah. I really think that sport, no matter what your background is in all the years that I played football, people come from different backgrounds. Come from the city, the country, you name it. You know, I grew up. We don't have any money, You know, we and you get to know people for who they are, because you are all fighting for the same one common goal. And it didn't matter where you were from. You knew that you were there for a reason and a purpose toe, whatever that was to win the game, to win the championship. And you were doing that together, and that brought 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 feels like. Yeah, that's a great point. Is that I think a lot of people don't know what it feels like. What it means to get to know somebody from a different background of a different culture speaks a different language. Different skin color. Ah, lot of people don't know 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. The diversity of thought that this could be a strength and not a weakness on. Do you 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. And I think sports is one such means. Yeah.

No, I agree. So, like when I left high school and I go to Tulsa University, I have an instant family because I'm on the football team. I'm recruited by them, right? I'm there before school even 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 a little harder to find that family? Or did it take you a while? How was that for you? Yeah, I had a great experience of brown. I did not play sports of Brown simply wasn't good enough. I was decent high school. I think that wasn't good enough to play soccer. Brown on dso I didn't have that ready made family 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, but Brown doesn't really. I mean, Brown is serious about the things that we just talked about about breaking down cultural barriers and on building bridges. And so there were programs put in place from before your pre frost Before you even start up through your first year in going forward that are designed to develop, you know, family to develop a sense of togetherness of the university. And so that's why I had a good experience there. Yeah, I would assume like it really helps 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 be off the field, I didn't have a clue. So that must have been It probably felt good that you knew that and you knew what track you wanted to take so that you 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 15 years in the NFL, it's like I should have continued my education. I should have done other things so that when I was done, there's an easy transition for me and something else I love to dio. And that transition for me has been very difficulty because I didn't do those things while I was playing the game. Hey, we're talking to Jeremy Douroux, professor of law at American University. We're gonna take a short break and we'll be right back in the 16 31 digital news studio EP. The multi format network is here to 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. Hi, this is former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte, 16 31. Digital advertising is your one stop shop to promote your business and get new customers for award winning creative to getting as online in display video O T. T connected TV and streaming audio go to 16 31 digital advertising dot com. Has someone in your 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 quick cash 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 with real estate agents and risking your safety by showing your home to lukewarm buyers. You don't need to lose your home to foreclosure. If you have any equity in your home, we will buy it and give you cash within days. All in a simple 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't want to get the cash you need. Today. 804 707113 804 707113 804 707113 That's 804 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 Every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. I talked to celebrities, veterans and professionals like 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 Up With Gus every Sunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio. Okay, s I X. Welcome back, everyone. Thanks for joining us in the new 16 31 digital new studio produced by AMP. TV. You can find us on Huddle up with gusts dot com. Now let's join the huddle. Hey, we're back on e. We're talking with Jeremy Do, uh, Jeremy, we were talking about, you know, your experience 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 this and tell me about that experience going to Harvard Law? Because I think that's a huge step in and anybody can have that experience. It's an amazing experience, and probably for you, it's...

...one step closer to what you really wanna do in your life. Yeah, that's right. That's right. I mean, a Z. I mentioned I always wanted to be a civil rights lawyer on DSO finishing college and 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 that direction. I was very fortunate to get in. Uh, Harvard on once there began to really explore the ways in which I could study civil rights law and think about ways in which it truly could be helpful, impactful in society. And so it was It was a wonderful experience to go. There was a great privilege. I've never been around such intellectual rigor ous I was there. I mean, it was it 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 that I needed to, uh, you know, to get into the civil rights space. And ultimately it will talk about the sports slash civil rights space. But but you Harvard was an incredible opportunity and experience for me. I'm very thankful and 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 when did the sports aspect coming to play for you? Was it while you were there was 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 little traveling 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 never thought about combining sport with my love for for civil rights until I joined a small civil rights law firm. After I graduated from school, I clerked for a judge for a year. I went to a large law firm for a couple of years because I was totally broken at the pay off my debts. And once I was able to get a hold on my debts, I went to a small civil rights firm which is what I always wanted to do. And we did principally employment discrimination work. And while I was there, um, the the firm began to work with coaches in the NFL who were concerned, um, that there wasn't as much opportunity for them as there could be because of race. And I was asked by the firm toe work on that matter. And when I started working on that matter, Gus, that's when I had that eureka moment that you're telling me I can focus on my intellectual passion of civil rights as well as the thing I enjoy most in life, which is sports, and bring them together and form a career around them. And I realized I was a possibility, and I haven't turned back. I've been studying sporting society since then. Yeah, that's amazing. And so tell me about maybe the first team or the first group that that you went in and kind of looked into because you have to do a lot of research I'm sure to try. And when you go and try toe, create a new role. There's so much research that you probably had to do and find all the discrimination over the years of of what happened to prove that this is actually happening, right? Because I'm I'm assuming that you found some roadblocks along the way. Yes, yes. And the fact. So the seminal study was this right? Right before I got into the law firm, the one of the main partners in the law firm, together together with another lawyer, put together a study. They were concerned in 2000 and one that the NFL had 32 head coaches. And after Dennis Screen was fired by the Vikings and Tony Dungy was fired by the Bucks, there was one head coach of color. So you've got a league 70% roughly with the players are of color 32 head coach opportunities only one of color. And that seemed disproportionate to these thes lawyers. And so they got together. And they asked a um, a labor economist at University of Pennsylvania to put together a study exploring the win loss records of all coaches in the league by race going back 15 years. So 2000 and one back to 1986. And the results were stunning in the first year that an African American head coach was in the was in the seat. Thea, African American head coach, 12.7 mortgage games per season, the non African American head coaches. And then the year they were fired, it was 1.3 MAWR and this courses in a 16 game season. And so the numbers seemed to show pretty clearly that the African Americans who were getting the job we're doing the job. But it was harder for me to get the job, and they were fired. MAWR more quickly on DSO. The...

...lawyers took this study to the NFL, and to the credit of the NFL, Paul Tagliabue was the commissioner than the three 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 that we'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, and that committee, together with the lawyers, came up with this concept of the Rooney Rule and Rooney rule before. I'm sure we'll talk about more. I came into play and I joined the firm just after the rule came into play, and we're figuring out how it would apply. So, you know, I'm thinking about Dan Rooney. The Rooney role. When you came into that, what were your expectations? And then when you got there, what did you realize? Like Okay, this is better, or this is worse than I thought. Um, it's kind of what I thought, you know, It's kind of what I thought I expected that there would be headwinds that face coaches of color for a number of reasons. You know, one is that there's a 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, there really is. And it is a familiar thing. It really is a small community. You know, A lot of families have histories in the lead. There's a great deal of lineage on African Americans who were kicked out of the league in the thirties, 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 just didn't have the lineage. And so I figured there'd be headwinds and be challenges and people of color getting opportunities off of the field. And that proved to be the case, really, Across the league, some some clubs are better than others. The Steelers certainly were were a torch bear with respect to diversion, equal opportunity. The The Cowboys also made some progress there early, but it was a It was a challenge across the league. I think everybody could acknowledge that, Um and so what some people will say all the 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's more of what you said. There's some There's some lineage in there that, uh, their family. But that happens in corporate America. That happens everywhere, and these owners have. Ah, you know, there's only 32 of them. It's a 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't always the best person for the job. Yeah, that's a great question. So you know the idea. The Rooney rule simple. It's, you know, I think it's been twisted and mischaracterized at times to suggest that it's some sort of a quota system, which it absolutely is not. All the Rooney rule says is that when you've got, let's say, head coach opening, you have to interview one person of color for the job. That's it. That's it. You don't have to hire the person. You just have to interview them for the job now. The NFL altered the rule this past spring, and now it's two people of color for a head coach position. If you're looking for a GM or a coordinator, its's one person of color. But the idea is just to get people in the room who might not have been in the room. There's a guy named John Wooten, how he played for the Washington club for a year and the Browns for 10 years before that back in the fifties and sixties, and he's kind of known as the godfather of the Movement for equal opportunity off the field in the national football that you can. He was a unexamined a tive for the Cowboys back with Tex Schramm, and he said they had all sorts of conversations about diversity and and ultimately, you know, Tex Schramm said, Listen, you know, I understand all that you're saying, Onda. We need to try to diversify. But the bottom line is, if I'm running a club, I know who I want, you know, for the coaching position and nobody should tell me and John's response and it goes to what you just said. Gus Waas, You're right, you know who you want and that's fine. Nobody's gonna 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 on who you want, you might not be able to figure out who would be best. You won't be casting a wide net to figure out who will be best. So if you want your team to 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, and the Rooney rule is one tool. I believe that can lead an organization that direction. 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 equal opportunity has opened up, not just by race and equality that way, but also by gender. And, you know, we've seen that happen, and I don't have toe say that's probably all because of the Rooney rule. I think so. I think so. I mean, that's a great point, and I think what I mean. So the Rooney rule is what it is we just described. You know what it's text is, but the idea behind it is opening up your mind, toe, other opportunities, other possibilities you hadn't thought about. And I think you're totally right. I think that's what has led to greater diversity for people of color, greater diversity with respect to gender. I would I would go so far as to say that it Z increased the opportunities for special teams coordinator. You know John Harbaugh, for example. We all know he kinda cut his teeth as a special teams coordinator at the time, you tended not to get a head coaching job of the special teams coordinator, but I think as the idea of the Rooney rule began to take hold, and some people began to see Hey, this gives us a competitive advantage by thinking broadly about who we might hire. I think organizations began to open up their searches and all sorts of ways benefiting all sorts of groups, but that might not previously have had, you know, real bona fide opportunities to show what they've got. Well, you know, it goes back to something that I learned about Microsoft and some of these other big companies like that that, you know, they were getting kids from all these top schools toe kinda, you know, learn about technology that knew about it, right? They were coming from M I t Harvard and CMU. They were all the same kids, and they were all the kind of the same mold, right? So they weren't getting a lot of different stories. And what they started was a program where they were getting kids from different stories and backgrounds. And then when they got to the company, they were teaching them different things, right, because sometimes you have to have those different stories to affect everyone, and I think the NFL to try infect everyone on your team, your group, your company, the people in it, your staff. They need to look like your team to They need to be like that. Need to be diverse, right? So that your guys can connect with somebody can feel like they're part. Just not. I'm just not playing for you, right? I'm really here. There are people like me, and I get it right. 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 that show that that diversity makes you makes you better, because diversity of all sorts. Now, you know, racial diversity, ethnic diversity, gender diversity, but diversity of thought, diversity of backgrounds, socioeconomic diversity. It gives you the opportunity to get all sorts of different perspectives looking at a problem and trying to solve it and just got a better chance of succeeding, getting a good outcome to, you know, to the problem. And so I think that, you know, I think that's relevant. Football, the NFL, as much of this relevant, you know, in Silicon Valley or Wall Street, we need different perspectives to get to the best answers. Yeah, you know, and I think that when the owners finally said Okay, this we have a product and how do we make our money off the fans? And we need to bring in as many fans as possible and we can't just stick to one group as well. And I think all of that understanding all of that when you run a business and it's all the same right to me, it's like they're running business. They understand that now. And just like you said, the more diverse your company is, the more people you're gonna affect in the wider cast of a net you're gonna have. And I think that the under the NFL and the owners air over. I don't know how many years you think, but over. You know, the last decade or so they've kind of understood that. I think so. I think the NFL certainly has. Over the course of I said last 18 years, I think NFL certainly has, you know, set in the room with Commissioner Goodell on multiple occasions with Troy Vincent 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. I think some don't understand it. I think some are resistant to the idea, but I strongly believe that that creates a competitive disadvantage for those owners. 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've talked a lot of coaches about all of these topics that we've been talking about. What drove you to write your book, Advancing the ball? E guess I saw this extraordinary story. It was unfolding that I knew about because I was involved in it as a lawyer. Kind of...

...watching it. Um, but it was a story that not very many people knew, and I just felt that I had to tell it Now this tremendous desire to tell it. And, you know, I had a sabbatical leave from the university. What you get when you're pursuing 10 years. I was a younger professor then and I spent that time just grinding away on the book and telling the story of how the NFL moved from a league that was viewed as probably the most resistant to equal opportunity initiatives to a league that adopted the Rooney rule to a league that ultimately benefitted from the Rooney rule. So, um, when you were writing this book, we I mean, it has to be like, I'm sure I've never written a book and always said I should write a book about my career because it's crazy. But when you're writing 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 had There'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 you write 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 grandkids after me, and I think it's a E. I think it's fantastic. So if you ever wanna talk more about that, Gus, let me know. We could talk all about book writing but knows that it's a it's a big topic and I kind of framed my I did a lot of interviews, and they kind of framed what I do. I interviewed Commissioner Goodell. I interviewed Jeff Pash. I interviewed Marvin Lewis and Tony Dungy and John when I interviewed all these folks, um on got a sense as to what their various perspectives were one what was happening in the league on Then, Once I had those perspectives, I put together a narrative of how the rule came to be kind of looking through their eyes and through their through their experiences. And, you know, one of the the pieces of the book that I enjoyed the most was talking toe coach Dungy and talking to him about his experience. When he was coaching the Colts, they were going into M and T Bank Stadium to play the Ravens. And of course, we all know the history of the Colts once being the Baltimore Colts, moving to Indianapolis and a tremendous amount 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 because he's known the the tremendous amount of effort that Tony Dungy had put into becoming a head coach in this league, all the setbacks he's had, the opportunities that have been denied to him over the years. And this this tried and true died in the world. Baltimore resident and fan was still supporting Tony Dungy because of what Dungy's journey had meant to him. Right? That's amazing. That's amazing. So when you're writing this book, you seem like a great father. Family man. How many of the memories of were you growing up coming over from Africa going through those experience you had and thinking about your kids When you're writing this book? Because, like you mentioned, it's something that they'll always have about you. So is there a kind of a part of that that when you were writing would go through your mind? Cause I'm sure I would get emotional telling my story because my family is big to me? Yeah, dedicated the 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 so much to me professionally. My entire professional life has been involved at the intersection of of sport on race and law on Guy had dedicated it to them in 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 was telling the story of how sport my thesis is that sport can change, the world can change the country. And we were seeing it happened in the National Football League. And to be able to give that to my kids was it was very meaningful to me. Been all right. Um, I think that is great. I'd love to give that to my kids someday, but, you know, they'll probably put it in the back show. 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 I kind of want to take the route that you took right. I know that I want to go fight for a certain thing. I want to become a lawyer at some point. Why should I come to American University and take your class...

...a tough one? Um, e you know, first of all, it's a great law school there. Other great law schools to e will say Then they're they're a handful of individuals who are deeply focused at the intersection of race and civil rights and law and sport. Um, but definitely, I'm one of them. I love this. I love to mentor students. I'm so glad you raised this, Gus, because I was gonna let you know before we go that I wanted Thio give you my twitter handle. Anybody who is interested in this sort of stuff. I don't care if they go to American or not. I want them to reach out to me. I love toe, uh, speak with them, uh, offer insights and pay it forward. But if they do come to American law school, um, then they could study under me. Andi, I guarantee they'll have a time at school where they're able to focus on the issues that they care about. And let's face it, you know, education can be an extraordinary experience, and eventually 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 that drives you and you come to American University, you're interested in the intersection of foreign society. I'll be there waiting for you. So have you ever had a class where you taught and you were just fist pump and you were like, Yeah, that's it, Like, you know, where I've thrown five touchdowns in the game and you're like, That's just a great feeling. Have you ever had that class where you're like, I'm gonna nail this today? Because this is so important. And I'm gonna drive it into all my students heads and they got it and you leave and you just super excited. Yeah, I have a couple of a couple of occasions. One time was about, um, three importance of being understanding of and respecting and supporting athletes ability to protest. Um, and another was talking through the Rooney rule with students who had legitimate questions and concerns and getting to a place where we saw three rules possibility, despite, um, the areas in which it could be in improved So absolutely, I've had that feeling now. I've not had the feeling of throwing five touchdowns. I'd like to have that feeling. I don't know what that feels like. You can because you're a soccer player. E especially of Orange Way. I love what I do. But if I had the chance just toe, you know, like the Field of Dreams 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 have to tell me what it feels like to throw five touchdowns. It's a pretty amazing feeling. The thing that you remember most are the guys that landed on top of you or hit you the hardest. So sometimes that's even worse. So I hope you never experienced that because that's not the fun part, the fun part of starting five touchdowns and beating the San Diego Chargers in my high stadium. That's that's a lot of fun. I'm sure it is. I'm sure it iss so Jeremy, I learned a lot today. I'd love to stay connected with you and send your questions about things because I think this is one of the most important topics we could ever touch in our society. And so tell us and tell people in all my fans how they could get ahold of you where they can follow you. And you know where they can find out all your information in your book. Great. Thanks. Garcia, I want to stay in 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 at N Jeremy do room So and J e r e m i d. You are you. You can always find me an American University law school. In my book is every place for books, or so the Amazon, Barnes and noble dot com and everywhere else. Well, hey, I know we don't have enough time to talk about everything we should talk about. Maybe we can come back another day and and continue the podcast because, you know, there's just things about you mentioned player protest and how that was handled. And then 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 continue conversation. 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. All right, Jeremy, thank you for being on Huddle up with Gus. Everyone, What a great episode. I hope you learned a little bit today and please follow Jeremy, Um, if you get the chance and wanna learn mawr about everything he is doing thank you for joining us in the new 16. 31 digital news studio. And please listen to us wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. We will be on sounder pretty soon, so thank you again.

I hope you enjoy the episode and we'll see you next week. EMP, The multi format network is here to 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. 15 year NFL Q B and host of Huddle Up with Gus Every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. I talked to celebrities, veterans and professionals like Matthew McConaughey and Dick for Mill, about how sports shaped their life. Joined Gus Ferrat and his guests in the 16 31 digital news studio on Huddle Up With Gus Every Sunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio K s I X and now we'll huddle up with Gus Bonus clip brought to you by 16 31 Digital news. For more information, go to 16 31 digital news dot com. Hello, everyone, and welcome to huddle up with Gus. I'm your host, Gust Ferrat and thank you for joining us. You can find us 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 us today in the new 16 31 digital news studio, and we're glad to be produced by an TV. We're excited to be on K s I X. You can find us there on Sunday mornings 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 us about how sports shaped his life. Matthew McConaughey joined us. Sat down with us this week, gave us a lot of insight that we didn't really know about him. Matthew and I were friends back in the days when I played with the Redskins, the Washington football team. And it's kind of funny when we sat and talked about all these green lights that he has because of his new book called Green Lights. Ah, lot of things had to go back and forth. You know, we talked about the old days and what was the old days? It was a Redskins. We talked about the New Days and how Daniel Snyder might call him to help him name the Washington football team. But you know, the insights that Matthew gave us into his life, all the green lights that have helped him through his life, the way he took his journals, wrote his story down, went out into the desert. Took took quite a few days. I think it was over 50 days. A different periods of time to write his new book and to really hopefully help us all turned 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 join The huddle. Thing is the greatest. Here's a great example on There's a lot of debate about the eyes of Texas right now, so I don't want to get into that debate. But I will get into what I think is beautiful about the ritual of us singing that song way. Sing that song win or lose Now the really beautiful part is that we sing that song when we lose, because what is it basically 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 and tradition and expectations about the long future we're gonna head into as a university that I that I really like, um, it's there's there's a great entrenched enriched tradition and expectation of excellence on a halo of excellence that is expected for being a long one. Hey, green lights go to green lights dot com. You want to find out you get the book there, but it's in any bookstore all over all over the world right now. I mean, from the from the your 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 would say this, You know, a lot of times we think that creating a green light in our 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 ways which we could make a choice that is both selfish for us, us and self less and the best choice for the most amount of people as well. And that's the place I hope we get to, especially right now at a time in our nation where we have such great divide. We gotta start. We gotta figure out I would trust each other again. We gotta figure out how to believe in each other again on, and I think it's through our values where we can say, you know what, That's a least Have a conversation, even though we may...

...not have the same point of view or the same politics. E became early on, Growing up in Longview, Texas, about 2.5 hours east of Dallas, I became a what was then called the Washington Redskins fan, which now called the Washington football team. And it was because of a few simple reasons that a four year old mind we'll fall in love with the team. I mean, watching Westerns with my dad, and I'm rooting for the American Indians on horseback. I like the guys with the arrows into the guns after that. Favorite Foods hamburgers, Redskins got a middle linebacker, Chris Hamburger Watch another great reason like this team. So I was a big underdog in Texas, obviously, especially growing up outside of Dallas to be what was then called a Redskin fan. Um, there was one guy across the street, Scott Smith, who actually was the only other risk in Fan I 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 is used to drive a car off with. Yeah, I'd have a shammy wrapped around my waist with the rope tying it on. I'll be barefoot and I'll be right there on the 50 yard line. Uh, in Texas Stadium, when the Redskins would play the Cowboys. I was at, as you know, the last game at RFK. The first game of jacket cook in the first game at FedEx. I have Burgundy soil in a mason jar from the end zone of RFK. Hey, Cassie 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 Gusts every Sunday morning at 10 AM I talked to celebrities, veterans and professionals like Matthew McConaughey and Dick for Mill about how sports shaped their life. Join Gus Ferrat and his guests in the 16 31 digital news studio on Huddle Up with Gus every Sunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio. Okay, s I X am multi format network is here to help create from or information. Send a message to info at double a. M p dot TV. Has someone in your 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 quick cash 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 with real estate agents and risking your safety by showing your home to lukewarm buyers. You don't need to lose your home to foreclosure. If you have any equity in your home, we will buy it and give you cash within days. All in a simple over the phone and virtual process. Call quick cash offer now, before the economy gets worse, sell a home you can't afford or just don't want to get the cash you need. Today. 804 707113 804 707113 804 707113 That's 804 70 71 13.

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