Former pupil’s NFL study gains further recognition
November 9, 2022

Former Rydal Penrhos pupil Dr Alex Farnell’s study on racial inequality within the NFL gained further recognition through a magazine feature.

Our alumni at Rydal Penrhos are thriving away from school in a wide range of different fields. Whether it’s in business, finance, education, sport or the performing arts, former pupils are able to accomplish great feats after receiving the best possible platform from which to build, which is something our staff strive to accomplish before they head off on their next chosen path.

Dr Alex Farnell, a former pupil at the school, is gaining plenty of recognition for his investigation into the ongoing issue of racism and white privilege across the National Football League (American Football) in the United States. A controversial issue that is still generating headlines for all the wrong reasons thanks to a suspect hiring process.

Alex, who is now a Sports Economist and Lecturer in Economics based in Ireland, delved into this complex topic during his time at the Lancaster University Management School for a paper entitled Race and Coaching Hierarchy: An Analysis of Hiring and Firing in the NFL alongside Dave Berri, Vincent O’Sullivan and Robert Simmons.

The document has received widespread praise. It was even cited as a source in a recent opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times – one of the most recognisable media outlets anywhere in the U.S.

This was also a prominent part of a recent Fifty Four Degrees magazine feature published by the Lancaster Management School, which examined the problem with racial equality in the NFL and specifically the difficulty black coaches are having getting opportunities for prominent roles due to the influence of white owners who run the league.

“All this tells a simple story. The NFL – with teams primarily owned by white owners – is not making much progress with respect to the hiring of black individuals in the primary decision-making roles.

“They are happy to hire black individuals as athletes. But when it comes to making decisions, is far from being a meritocracy.”

Alex, who is the son of long-serving staff member Mike Farnell, accomplished a significant amount during his time at Rydal Penrhos both academically and in a sporting environment. He formally received his PhD from Lancaster University in August 2021 before embarking on his exciting role at Maynooth University.

Congratulations to Alex on his ongoing success and for having the courage to bring such an important topic to light in the United Kingdom, where most are likely not fully aware of what’s transpiring across the pond.


Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, emailing admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or registering your interest online.

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