Dan Rooney, NFL legend and ‘Rooney Rule’ namesake, dies at 84

Hall of Famer Joe Greene hugs Steelers chairwoman Dan Rooney .

Image: Gene Puskar/ AP/ REX/ Shutterstock

Dan Rooney moved the Pittsburgh Steelers as unit chairperson back in the 1970 s, when they acquired four Super Bowls in six years. He was team chairman when the Steelers tided back to modern prominence, with Super Bowl wins in 2006 and 2009. He was already an NFL lore by that site, having been voted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

But when Rooney passed away Thursday at age 84, the football owned and executive left a legacy that vanishes much deeper than wins and losses, one that even excels the blessing of Super Bowl trophies. Ever heard of the “Rooney Rule”? Yeah, that’s named for him.

Rooney’s death was reported Thursday, although detailed information about his delivering were not immediately disclosed. He inaugurated managing the Steelers in 1969, curing guide the team to iconic status among NFL franchises. News of his death instantly became a top trending topic on Twitter.

Rooney’s legacy goes beyond football

In 2003, the NFL substantiated what’s called “the Rooney Rule, ” stipulating that franchises must interview at least one minority nominee when seeking to fill foreman coaching and senior front-office ranks. The convention was born out of a diversity committee helmed by Rooney hence the name.

The “Rooney Rule” had now been become shorthand for same policies in fields beyond the world of pro football. It’s now considered, as The Undefeated reported last year, “a blueprint for corporate America to improve its inadequate employ chronicle when it comes to diversity. Facebook, Pinterest, Intel, Xerox and Amazon are among the major corporations that have instituted their own copy of the rule. Even the Pentagon has explored exerting some word of the rule to diversify its officer corps.”

A rule meant to increase diversity but named for a white man might seem problematic to some in 2017, but the NFL to that site had an abysmal chronicle. When Art Shell was hired to coach the Los Angeles Invader in 1989, he became the league’s first black foreman instruct since the 1920 s.

Certainly, the Rooney Rule isn’t perfect. It’s not a panacea.

But it still marks an important step for progress in the American workplace and it’s the reason numerous love of social good , not just good football, will raise one for Dan Rooney on Thursday night.

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