Brian Flores: NFL to strengthen inclusion policies and investigate allegations of tanking following lawsuit by black head coach


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told teams on Saturday that the league would seek to strengthen policies designed to encourage the hiring of minorities, particularly as head coaches, and he promised an investigation into the allegations. of tanking raised by Brian Flores in his discrimination lawsuit against the NFL.

“We will reassess and review all policies, guidelines and initiatives relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, including in relation to gender,” Goodell wrote in a memo to the league’s 32 clubs obtained by the Associated Press.

The commissioner added that the league’s record of hiring minority coaches was “unacceptable”.

Goodell said the league will have outside experts involved in the review as well as “current and former players and coaches, advocates and other authorities in this area. Our goal is simple: to make our and the clubs’ efforts more effective so that real and tangible results will be achieved.”

In a statement, Flores’ attorneys said that while Goodell’s statement appears to be a positive first step in addressing systemic racism in the league, “we suspect this is more of a public relations ploy. than a genuine commitment to change”.

Flores, who is black, was fired as Miami coach last month despite back-to-back winning seasons. He named the league and three teams — the Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants — in a class action lawsuit this week alleging unfair hiring practices in the NFL.

After the lawsuit was filed, the league said it would defend itself against the allegations it deemed “without merit”. In the following days, the Dolphins, Broncos and Giants issued their own denials of Flores’ allegations.

The most serious allegation in the lawsuit is Flores’ claim that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told him he would pay him $100,000 for every loss during the coach’s first season because that the owner wanted the club to “tank” so he could get the first draft pick.

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