Origin of the NFL’s Rooney Rule

March 25, 2011  |  

(Payvand) — The United States is known for being the land of equal opportunity. But that does not mean Americans don’t sometimes have to fight to get that opportunity. Here’s the story about one man who has made his mark helping to fight that battle.  Cyrus Mehri is one of the most influential – and perhaps feared – civil rights lawyers in America. In 2001, he settled one of the largest civil rights cases in the history of the United States – against The Coca-Cola Company for 192.5 Million dollars. Discrimination is a topic close to this Iranian American’s heart.

“I grew up in a family that when they came to the United States, they loved this country but they also saw some of the shortcomings in the U.S. And one of the shortcomings was the issue of race,” Mehri said.  Mehri’s passion for justice, combined with a deep love of American football, led him to take on one such shortcoming in the world of professional sports.  ”Literally I was reading the newspaper and I said ‘something has to change’ because they were down to only one African-American head coach out of 32 in the National Football League,” he added.
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