In the time since Brian Flores announced his lawsuit against the NFL and three teams, the league, as well as those teams, have all released statements denying Flores’ allegations. Something that he and his lawyers are not very happy about.
Flores has accused the NFL and the Broncos, Giants, and Dolphins of discrimination in their hiring procedures. The NFL has a protocol, namely, the Rooney Rule which mandates that minorities must be granted an interview in the hiring process. Flores feels that both the Giants and Broncos only gave him the interviews to satisfy that mandate.
In light of the lawsuit, commissioner Rodger Goodell released a statement saying “Racism and any form of discrimination is contrary to the NFL’s values.” He also added, “These matters will be reviewed thoroughly and independently.” That last part is what Flores and his lawyers have an issue with.
Brian Flores calls for ‘real change’ in the NFL
In a statement, Brian Flores’ lawyers responded with “Unfortunately, after Coach Flores filed the class action lawsuit, the NFL and various teams reflexively, and without any investigation, denied the detailed allegations set forth in the 60-page complaint. As a result, when we spoke to the national media the following day we made clear that the NFL should view this class action lawsuit as an opportunity to engage in real change and confront the obvious reality.”
In response to commissioner Goodell’s statement, they said “The statement made today by the commissioner is, on the surface, a positive first step, but we suspect that this is more of a public relations ploy than real commitment to change. For too many years, the NFL has hidden behind the cover foundations that were supposed to protect the rights of black players and coaches, all while letting systemic racial bias fester in its front offices.”
Their final comments were “The NFL is rolling out the same playbook now yet again and that is precisely why this lawsuit was filed. We would be pleased to talk to the commissioner about real change but unfortunately, he has not reached out to engage in such a discussion. In fact, nobody from the NFL has reached out to us. Absent such a discussion followed by unbiased and concrete change, we believe that a court or governmental agency must order a federal monitor to oversee the NFL as the NFL cannot continue to police itself.”
Calling out the NFL on its actions when dealing with such allegations is something that we haven’t seen before. The hope of this is that the league itself takes note of this and looks to deal with this situation differently. Ideally, they would be willing to do so but it seems that Brian Flores and his legal team would look to force such a situation.