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Art Rooney II Releases A Statement On The "Rooney Rule"

NFL owner Art Rooney speaking to the media on behalf of the Steelers.

LATROBE, PA - JULY 29: Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II listens to newly signed first round draft pick Cameron Heyward #95 speak at a press conference after signing with the team during training camp on July 29, 2011 at St Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The allegations Brian Flores has made against NFL owners has a lot of people wondering whether the Rooney Rule, designed to prevent racist hiring practices, is as effective as it should be.

As the son of Dan Rooney, the Rooney Rule's namesake, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II weighed in on the controversy. On Thursday, Rooney released a statement defending the current state of the Rooney Rule.

Rooney said that while there hasn't been the kind of progress he hopes to see in the head coaching ranks, the rule has improved equity in other positions. He highlighted "marked improvement in the hiring of women and minorities in other key leadership roles such as Coordinator positions, General Manager positions, and front office positions both in and out of football operations."

While it's true that we've seen increased hiring for minorities and women in front office roles, the Steelers are one of only three teams with a minority head coach right now. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is currently the only African-American head coach in the NFL.

The bigger issue for the time being is whether the Rooney Rule is being used to give coaches a fair shake. Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has made a number of allegations that suggest it's not.

We can't get inside the minds of the executives doing the hiring. But in the years since the Rooney Rule was implemented, minorities still don't come close to having as much representation at the top jobs as they do on the field.

Do you agree with Art Rooney's defense of the current Rooney Rule?