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Diversity group calls for NFL to investigate Raiders for possible Rooney Rule violation

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, the diversity group that works closely with the NFL on its minority hiring, has asked the league to investigate the Oakland Raiders for what it calls a possible violation of the Rooney Rule related to the process by which the team hired Jon Gruden as its coach.

The Raiders formally introduced Gruden as their new coach Tuesday after signing him to a 10-year contract that apparently could be worth as much as around $100 million. Davis fired Jack Del Rio as the Raiders’ coach on the same day the team’s season ended.

The Raiders’ view is that they complied with the Rooney Rule by interviewing their own tight ends coach, Bobby Johnson, and Tee Martin, the offensive coordinator at the University of Southern California.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue fined Matt Millen, then the Detroit Lions’ president, $200,000 in 2003 for failing to interview a minority candidate before hiring Steve Mariucci as the team’s coach. Tagliabue told NFL owners during a meeting that year that any future violation of the rule could result in a fine of $500,000 or more for conduct detrimental to the league.

That’s the No. 81 worn by Hernandez from 2010 through the 2012 season, before he was arrested and convicted of murder. In April of last year, the former tight end committed suicide in his prison cell.

The photo is from a Patriots preseason game against the Jaguars on Aug. 12, 2011, a season in which New England wore an MHK patch to honor Myra Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft who died of cancer in June of that year. Of course, Patriots fans would not have needed to see the patch to know there was something distinctly out of place about the image.

WCVB eventually deleted the tweet, but not before gaining widespread notice for striking a jarringly discordant note on a night of celebration for the Patriots and countless Boston-area residents. How the heck are the Jags supposed to win if the Pats are playing zombies, one Twitter user jokingly wondered.

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