Everyone in the sports world should unite in solidarity with Brian Flores for standing up against racism in the National Football League (NFL).
The NFL is being called out as a racist institution – particularly in its hiring practices of oppressed nationalities, specifically African Americans. Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who is Black, filed a class-action lawsuit against his former employer, the NFL, and two additional teams — the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.
Flores filed his case on the first day of Black History Month, accusing the NFL of systemic racism in the hiring of coaches and executives. Flores also dismissed the Rooney Rule, the league directive by which NFL owners are compelled to interview one “minority” candidate per head coach vacancy, as a sham that has produced nothing except unconvincing window dressing.
Besides being a clarion call for others affected by racism in the NFL to join in, the Flores’ lawsuit pays homage to those who sacrificed and challenged discrimination and racism.
In his preliminary statement, Flores said, “As this Class Action Complaint is filed on the first day of Black History Month, we honor the brave leaders that fought so hard to help break down racial barriers of injustice. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson and Mamie Till, to name only a few.”
In the 58-page lawsuit, Flores alleged that “the NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers.”
Flores — who was fired by the Dolphins in January, despite a record-winning three seasons — also claims that he was subjected to what he called “sham” interviews for head coaching positions by both the New York Giants this offseason and by the Denver Broncos in 2019. Flores says the interviews were only meant to satisfy the league’s quota for interviewing candidates of color before the teams ultimately hired white men.
Flores has recently been on the losing end of the lie that the NFL cares about diversity. He just completed his second consecutive winning season in Miami. It marked the first time that the hapless Dolphins have had consecutive winning seasons in almost 20 years. Flores even brought the team back from a 1-7 start to a winning record, the first NFL coach to accomplish that feat. And yet he was fired.
Flores finally had enough and filed his lawsuit, after a phony Rooney Rule interview with the New York Giants – an organization that has never hired a Black head coach.
Flores realized that his interview was a sham when his former mentor Bill Belichick texted him by accident. Belichick tried to congratulate Brian Daboll for landing the Giants job, but texted the wrong Brian.
The Giants had seemingly decided to hire a white coach that had never been a head coach, even before Flores was interviewed. Flores decried the fact that the league has only one Black head coach while 70% of players are Black.
What has really upset the NFL’s defenders is that Flores describes the NFL as being managed like a plantation.
Flores recognizes that by undertaking his lawsuit, he will be white-balled from the league just like Colin Kaepernick was for kneeling against police terror. But he also sees the importance of challenging this racist institution for the sake of other Black coaches and players.
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