Lawyers for former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores have filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging racism in its hiring practices, and added two former NFL coaches to a revised complaint Thursday.
Steve Wilkes, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, and Ray Horton, the NFL assistant since 1994, who was interviewed for the Tennessee Titans head coaching job in 2016, are now part of a lawsuit filed against the NFL. , Dolphins, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Titans and Cardinals, and 26 other “John Doe” NFL teams. The Titans, Cardinals and Texans were added to the case as part of the amendment.
In a revised complaint, Flores’ lawyers allege that the Texans “retaliated” against Flores, removing him from consideration for their head coach vacancy “because of his decision to file this action and for publicly speaking out about formal discrimination in the NFL.”
The amended lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York. This calls for, among other things, increased transparency in NFL hiring, incentives to hire Black coaches and greater visibility for black assistant coaches.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Wilkes, Mr. Had he been given the same opportunity as Kingsbury, he would have certainly won. “
“When Coach Flores filed this action, I knew I owed it to myself and all Black NFL coaches and interested coaches to stand by him,” Wilkes said in a statement released by his lawyers. “This case sheds more light on an issue we all know is well known, but very few are prepared to face it. Black coaches and candidates must have the same ability to work as white coaches and candidates. I look forward to working with Flores and Coach Horton. “
After spending a season as the University of Missouri’s defensive coordinator, Wilkes returned to the NFL this year as Carolina Panthers’ bass game coordinator and secondary coach.
Horton was the Titans’ defensive coordinator for 2014-15 and was interviewed for the position of head coach of the team. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. The Titans hired white Mike Mullarki, and Horton left as a defensive coordinator in Cleveland. He subsequently retired.
Mullarki, who was the team’s interim head coach for the final nine games of the 2015 season, said on the 2020 podcast that he would get the job, including interviewing the two, before the Titans owners complete the interview process. Minority candidates.
Mullarki’s comments, part of an extensive interview with the “Steelers Realm” podcast, answered a question he regretted in his career. The allegations have gained new relevance since Flores filed his lawsuit in February, alleging that he was discriminated against during an interview for head coach vacancies.
“I’m always proud to do the right thing in this business, and I can not say that this is true for everyone in this business,” Mularki told the Podcast. “It’s a very cutthroat business and a lot of guys will tell you that … I’m sorry at one point when I was in Tennessee, I’m still sorry. So I sat there knowing that I was the head coach at 16. Knowing the hiring process, the many coaches they interviewed, how much they were willing to do for those interviews, what they could do and they were not likely to get that job. John Robinson, he’s. In an interview with me, he did not know why he was interviewing me – I already had a job. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I did that.
As part of reporting on the issues raised by Flores’ lawsuit, ESPN learned of the interview, which was not widely circulated at the time, and approached Mலlarki for comment before filing an amended lawsuit. Mullarki was eliminated by the Titans in 2017, going into the following seasons 9-7, losing to the New England Patriots in the division round of the playoffs.
“I hope you have the truth and that you have what you need,” Mullarki told ESPN via email. “Do not comment further.”
The Titans, in a statement to ESPN before filing the lawsuit, declined to comment on what happened during the interview, but did not comment on Adams Strunk or any other executives.
“Our 2016 head coach search was an open and competitive process during which we interviewed four candidates in person and followed all NFL rules,” the statement said. “During the process the organization did not determine its next head coach and made its final decision after considering all four candidates following the completion of interviews.”
Two minority candidates, the finalists for the Titans job in 2016, Daryl Austin and Horton, did not respond to ESPN’s repeated interview requests before filing a lawsuit. Austin is currently the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he serves on the same staff as Florus. Flores, who was fired in January after three seasons with the Dolphins, was hired in February as head coach Mike Tomlin’s senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.
The NFL, when contacted by ESPN before filing the lawsuit, said it was unaware of Mullarki’s comments before being asked.
“I did a lot of internal research and it never reached the NFL,” said Brian McCarthy, NFL’s vice president of communications. “We do not know if this is an issue.”
“I’m proud to stand with Coach Flores and Coach Wilkes in combating the formal discrimination that has plagued the NFL for so long,” Horton said in a statement released by his lawyers. “When I learned from coach Mலller’s claims that my head coach’s interview with the Titans was a sham job, I was devastated and humiliated. By joining this case, I hope to turn that experience into a positive, lasting change and create a real equal opportunity.
In a revised complaint, Flores’ lawyers write that it was widely reported on February 4 that the Texans had reduced their candidacy for head coach to Flores, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Josh McCown. After it was announced that Gannon, who was white, would no longer be considered, it was decided to either Flores or McCown, who was white and had no NFL coaching experience.
The complaint states, “If the Texans hire Mr McCaw on Mr Flores, it will only add to Mr Florus’ allegations of systematic discrimination against black candidates, particularly the removal of Team Blackhead coach David Gully. On the same day, it was announced that the team had decided to give an initial interview to its own coach, Gully.
The Texans eventually hired Smith as their head coach. The complaint commends Texans for hiring Smith.
Stephen Rose, owner of the Dolphins, paid $ 100,000 to Flores for a loss during the 2019 season – for the first time as head coach – in an attempt to “tank” the value of the Dolphins’ draft selection, further expanding the revised complaint. On December 4, 2019, Flores sent a memorandum to General Manager Chris Grier, CEO Tom Carbingel and Brandon Shore, Senior Vice President of Football and Business Administration, in which he described the toxicity within the organization and explained that it was unfair. Was placed. “
Flores’ attorneys said a copy of the memorandum was in the possession of the NFL.
At its annual owners’ meeting last month, the NFL announced a new diversity advisory board to review league and club policies on various hiring. The six-member panel “specializes in industry best practices, providing an overview, and focuses primarily on senior-level coaching, including league and club diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and initiatives, all recruitment processes, policies and practices.” Positions. “
“The NFL can hire outside advisers, make minor rule changes and assist various interested groups. Real and lasting change can only be accomplished by appointing a court order monitor. Victor and John Elefterakis said in a statement.