Los Angeles Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff was awarded the Daniel M. Rooney Lifetime Achievement Award by the Fritz Pollard Alliance.
The Daniel M. Rooney Lifetime Achievement Award is meant to honor an individual for their word toward improving a workplace surrounding the game of football.
The FPA issued six prestigious awards to honorees and they will be honored on Feb. 9 at the 18th annual Johnnie L. Cochran Salute to Excellence Awards ceremony in Phoenix during Super Bowl LVII week.
Demoff commented on the award, noting how it’s a pivotal time for organizations to support endeavors involving opportunities and equity, via TheRams.com:
“We are fortunate to have the platform that the National Football League provides to lead and push for a more diverse and inclusive landscape within sports and beyond,” said Demoff. “It is a tremendous honor to receive the Dan Rooney Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fritz Pollard Alliance and to be associated with two legends who helped transform the NFL in Dan Rooney and Fritz Pollard. This is a crucial time to advocate for more access to opportunity and equity in our game and I am grateful to the Fritz Pollard Alliance for their commitment to and leadership in this work.”
Rod Graves, the Executive Director of FPA, also commented on the need for diversity in hopes of a more inclusive league:
“Our mantra is to resist the status quo of diversity hiring practices in the NFL, as we build bridges and navigate barriers. Although the doors are open to ownership conversations, in many cases, the results remain barren of inclusive successes.”
Diversity hirings have been a topic of discussion in the NFL for several years now, though it has yet to produce the results that some might hope for. For example, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has been meeting with teams on potential head coaching opportunities but has yet to receive an offer.
Los Angeles has done well to fill its coaching staff with people of color, a practice that has begun to show around the rest of the league as well. However, the NFL would benefit from having more people of color manning higher positions of power.
People like Demoff are continuing to strive for equality and inclusiveness at the head coaching and management levels of organizations, but the work is far from complete. The league has taken several steps forward, so hopefully it continues down that path.