NFL commits former Attorney General Lynch to Flores trial

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has hired a law firm that includes former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend him and his teams in the Brian Flores racial discrimination lawsuit.

Lynch, the attorney general for the last part of the Obama administration, will work with Brad Karp, president of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Karp has previously worked for the league in concussion cases.

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 earlier this month alleging unfair hiring practices in the NFL.

After the lawsuit was filed, the league said it would defend itself against the claims which it called “without merit”. The Dolphins, Broncos and Giants have also denied Flores’ allegations.

Shortly after, in a memo to 32 clubs, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said:

“We understand the concerns expressed by Coach Flores and others. …As the legal process moves forward, we will not wait to reassess and modify our strategies to ensure they are consistent with our values ​​and our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

During his annual Super Bowl press conference, when Goodell was frequently asked about diversity in the NFL and the case of Flores, the commissioner added:

“We will not tolerate racism. We will not tolerate discrimination. I found all of the allegations, whether based on racism, discrimination or the integrity of our game, all troubled me. These are very serious issues for us at all levels, and we need to make sure we get to the bottom of each one.

In his lawsuit, Flores cites a series of text messages with Patriots coach Bill Belichick three days before his scheduled interview with the Giants for the head coaching job. These texts led Flores to believe that Brian Daboll had already been chosen as the new coach.

“It was humbling to be quite honest,” Flores said. “There was disbelief, there was anger, there was an outpouring of emotion for a lot of reasons.”

There have been nine head coaching openings this offseason and two have gone to minorities: Mike McDaniel, who replaced Flores in Miami and is biracial, and Lovie Smith, who is African American and replaced David Culley, who is also black. This brought the total of minority head coaches to five, three black. Over 70% of NFL players are black.

Flores also alleges in the lawsuit that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him $100,000 for each loss in the coach’s first season (2019) because he wanted the club to ‘book up’ so that he can get the first pick in the draft.


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