Brian Flores lawsuit looms over NFL owners' meetings

The NFL should argue that the Flores case is an internal league matter and should be heard by an arbitrator, not a federal judge. The Fl...

The NFL should argue that the Flores case is an internal league matter and should be heard by an arbitrator, not a federal judge.

The Flores case has once again laid bare the fact that the NFL, after decades of efforts to increase the diversity of its coaches and executives, has only three black head coaches – Mike Tomlin of the Steelers of Pittsburgh, Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans, and Mike McDaniel of the Dolphins, who identifies as biracial — in a league populated mostly by black players.

Flores was let go by the Dolphins in January and, after failing to land another head coaching job this offseason, was hired by Tomlin and the Steelers as a senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach. Tomlin said he was in “continuing conversation” with Flores after the lawsuit was filed.

“I wanted to support him as a member of the football coaching fraternity, and really just casual chats,” Tomlin said, adding that the conversation about Flores being hired in Pittsburgh stemmed from those chats. “And it really moved quite quickly to be completely honest with you. We did not discuss the subject until all the management positions were filled.

On Monday morning, Tomlin said he wasn’t convinced the league’s next steps would lead to better results. Later that day, the league announced it would retain the Rooney Rule, which was implemented in 2003 to require teams to interview non-white candidates for head coaching and management positions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said before the Super Bowl that the league would consider revising the rule. According to the NFL, minority coaching hires have increased to 39%, from 35%, for all coaching positions in the 2021 cycle. The league has also moved to include women in the Rooney Rule requirements for coaches. head coach and general manager openings. The rule will now state that each team must conduct in-person interviews with two external applicants who are people of color and/or women, believing this has the potential to create a loophole that could actually reduce the number of applicants of color. interviewing for the best. works.

The NFL also announced the creation of a six-person Diversity Advisory Committee. Its members include Rick Smith, the former general manager of the Houston Texans, and Peter Harvey, the former New Jersey attorney general who advised the league in its 2017 investigation into domestic violence allegations against the Dallas Cowboys, the running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Lovie Smith, who spent 11 years as head coach of the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before being hired to coach the Texans, said the only thing he could do was hire more coaches of color and hoping that other teams and their owners would. the same.

“We all have to look at what we can do,” Smith said. “We can put more guys who look like us in positions to show exactly who they are. Then owners can decide who they want to run their franchises. That’s the only question these 32 guys can answer.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Brian Flores lawsuit looms over NFL owners' meetings
Brian Flores lawsuit looms over NFL owners' meetings
Newsrust - US Top News
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