Hislop joins Mirror campaign for more black bosses
Published 21:00 21/09/11 By Mike McGrath
Shaka Hislop has backed the Mirror's Open Goal campaign to increase the number of black managers in the game.
The former Newcastle and West Ham goalkeeper has been working in the United States as a TV pundit after finishing his playing career with FC Dallas.
And he insists a version of America's Rooney Rule, which forces NFL teams to interview a non-white candidate whenever they have a head coaching vacancy, will work in English football after seeing its success up close across the Atlantic.
“It has been successful," said Hislop, 42. "It’s success was evident in the Super Bowl [in 2007] when there was not just one black coach - both head coaches were black [an NFL first]. That was the effect of the Rooney Rule.
“Before the Rooney Rule, in the NFL, black coaches would only get so far and they were not getting interviewed for the top jobs.
"What the Rooney Rule provides is an opportunity to at least showcase your talent to the decision makers - and then the decision is theirs.
“Any coach, regardless of race, wants that opportunity to share their beliefs in the game, whatever game that may be, and be judged on that.”
Hislop, an ESPN International pundit, was at the House Of Commons last week to celebrate Show Racism The Red Card’s 15th anniversary.
He feels black managers have been lost to the game because of a lack of opportunities.
“I know a number of black footballers who would have made significant contributions but have been apprehensive because of the concern they won’t be given a fair shot," said Hislop.
“We talk about the Rooney Rule and it’s a move in the right direction because it at least gives black aspiring coaches the opportunities to present their skills and be judged on those, as opposed to pre-conceptions.”