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Roger Goodell: NFL creating a Rooney Rule for women

The NFL continues its effort to encourage female involvement at every level of the sport.

Speaking at the first "Women's Summit" at Super Bowl 50, Commissioner Roger Goodell applauded the progress being made.

"We believe in diversity," Goodell said. "We believe we're better as an organization when we have good people at the table. We have great people at the table ... We're also seeing it on the field. Sarah (Thomas) was our first NFL female official on the field this year ... and she did a fantastic job, and we're very proud of her.

"We also have people breaking into coaching ranks ... Jen (Welter) is the first coach last year in the NFL. And she set a trend, we now have a second coach of the Buffalo Bills, a female coach (Kathryn Smith)."

Goodell announced Thursday the NFL will institute a "Rooney Rule" that would require interviews of women for executive positions.

"You can see that progress is being made," he said. "And our commitment is we have something called the Rooney Rule, which requires us to make sure when we have an opening, that on the team or the league level, that we are going to interview a diverse slate of candidates. Well, we're going to make that commitment and we're going to formalize that we, as a league, are going to do that with women as well in all of our executive positions. Again, we're going to keep making progress here and make a difference."

It's a long-overdue step for the NFL.

Amy Trask famously excelled as the CEO of the Oakland Raiders for 16 years. Dawn Aponte still holds the position of executive vice president of football administration for the Miami Dolphins.

UPDATE: The NFL clarified that the rule only requires the League office, not the teams, to interview women for executive positions.

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