BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) today issued the following statement applauding Representatives Tom Rooney and Alcee Hastings for introducing a bi-partisan resolution, H. Res 77 which encourages companies to voluntarily establish a best practices policy to identify minority candidates and minority vendors by implementing a plan to interview— (1) not fewer than 2 qualified minority candidates for each managerial opening at the director level and above; and (2) not fewer than 2 qualified minority-owned businesses before approving a vendor contract.
Johnson stated: "I want to commend Congressmen Rooney and Hastings for their leadership and for introducing H. Res. 77 which encourages companies to adopt The RLJ Rule, which is modeled after the National Football League's Rooney Rule. I urge Members – both Republicans and Democrats – to join their colleagues, Rep. Rooney and Rep. Hastings in adopting The RLJ Rule. Last month, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced similar legislation, S. Res 11 which promotes the development of best business practices for minority hiring and minority business opportunities. I would encourage both House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to demonstrate their commitment to promoting economic opportunities for minorities by moving swiftly to adopt H. Res 77 and S. Res 11 in their respective chambers to ensure a level playing field for minorities by creating senior management employment opportunities and growth opportunities for minority businesses," Johnson concluded.
The Rooney Rule was formulated by Daniel Rooney, Chairman of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers and uncle to Representative Tom Rooney. Established in 2003, The Rooney Rule requires each NFL team to interview a minority candidate for a coach or general manager position. After its implementation, the percentage of African American coaches in the NFL rose from 6 percent to 22 percent.
About The RLJ Companies: The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust, private equity, financial services, asset management, automobile dealerships, entertainment, and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET).