Denver Broncos raising bar with importance on diversity

Denver Broncos (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos are setting the bar high for the rest of the league by committing to diversity throughout the organization.

Studies throughout a wide array of industries indicate the importance of having a diverse and inclusive working environment. Furthermore, studies show that diversity within the workforce increases performance.

As the Broncos begin to adjust their leadership strategies on the field and at the offices in Dove Valley, their contribution is being recognized across the league.

Though the NFL is made up of more than 70 percent black players, the coaching and administrative sectors are nowhere near as inclusive. Diversity does not simply come from the census, but decision-making.

The Denver Broncos have taken that to heart and should be commended for it.

John Elway has been criticized for his commitment to his close-knit circle and lack of flexibility in how he views the organization.

In the past two seasons, he has begun to change that narrative with the commitment to analytics (not a full-fledged switch, but a complementary piece) and a renewed commitment to diversity amongst the organization.

The Broncos have made a few moves that should get some more run.

One of those moves is the Broncos have brought in five staff members through two diversity-focused fellowship programs; the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship and the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship.

I discussed with the crew at Broncos Country Tonight on Colorado’s KOA Radio Station about the Rooney Rule, and it’s effectiveness.

Currently, the NFL is lacking diversity amongst the coaching ranks, and especially in the prominent positions such as offensive and defensive coordinator roles along with quarterback coach. Those are the three leading precursors to getting head coaching jobs.

Currently, the NFL has three Black Head Coaches and one Black General Manager.

The Broncos took action to help build a pipeline for minorities to have quality opportunities at premium positions.

Creating opportunities does not equal success, but it is an action towards a successful outcome.

It is commendable that the team took a step towards doing something rather than standing for nothing.

The team announced last Monday that Jett Modkins (Broncos Diversity Coaching Intern) and Rod Rook-Chungong (scouting fellowship) will continue in their current positions throughout the 2020 Denver Broncos season.

James Daniels IV, Tony Jerod-Eddie, and Emily Zaler will enter the coaching fellowship during training camp.

If you are familiar with the name Modkins, he is the son Broncos running backs coach Curtis Modkins.

Daniels IV has been a college coach at Buffalo and Dayton since finishing his college play at the University of Mount Union.

Jerod-Eddie is a five-year NFL veteran with San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at Texas A&M University with Von Miller. In fact, the two are great friends.

Zaler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist will assist Loren Landow and the Broncos’ strength and conditioning staff.

These moves, coupled with the addition of Dr. Nicole Linen, the team has added several qualified individuals deserving an opportunity to work in the NFL.

The Broncos and John Elway seem to have begun to encapsulate the necessary adjustments the team had to make to become a more socially conscious and diverse organization.

As a cornerstone organization to not only Denver but the entire Rocky Mountain region, there are eys constantly fixed on how this team operates. Making changes like this not only challenge the status quo, they push other organizations to do more while also providing examples for local businesses who want to make changes but don’t know how.

These steps are a wonderful example of changing your approach when provided new information.

That is how successful companies operate. That is how successful leaders operate.

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Now, it seems that is how the Broncos operate, and the world needed it.