WASHINGTON (AP) – The founder of Black Entertainment Television says corporate America should borrow from the National Football League’s diversity playbook to increase the number of minorities in its executive ranks.

Business magnate Robert L. Johnson has offered up a proposal for companies to adopt a version of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when filling head coach and general manager positions.

In Johnson’s version of the rule, companies would interview at least two African American candidates for positions of vice president and above and at least two black-owned or operated firms for vendor and supplier contracting.

The Rooney Rule became mandatory in 2003. Currently, the league has seven black and one Hispanic head coaches, and five minorities in general manager positions.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.