Back in February, former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams as he alleged that there was racial discrimination implemented into the hiring process, as well as with his firing in Miami. Now two more coaches have joined in on the lawsuit.
According to ESPN, Steve Wilks, who was the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2018 season and Ray Horton, a former NFL defensive coordinator who interviewed for the Titans head-coaching position has joined Flores in the lawsuit. As previously reported, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, and the Miami Dolphins were also sued in the original lawsuit. Now the Houston Texans, Tennesee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, as well as 26 other “John Doe” NFL teams, have since been added as part of the amendment.
The amended lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York, and they are asking for “increased transparency in NFL hiring, incentives for hiring Black coaches and increased visibility for Black assistant coaches,” among other things.
Brian Flores’ attorneys allege the Texans “retaliated” against him, and withdrew their consideration of filling him in their head-coaching spot “due to his decision to file this action and speak publicly about systemic discrimination in the NFL.”
Steve Wilks spoke about joining the lawsuit and said:
“When Coach Flores filed this action, I knew I owed it to myself, and to all Black NFL coaches and aspiring coaches, to stand with him. This lawsuit has shed further important light on a problem that we all know exists, but that too few are willing to confront. Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to become employed, and remain employed, as white coaches and candidates. That is not currently the case, and I look forward to working with Coach Flores and Coach Horton to ensure that the aspiration of racial equality in the NFL becomes a reality.”
The lawyers for Ray Horton, who was a defensive coordinator for the Titans in 2014-2015, said his interview for the team’s head-coaching position was a “completely sham interview done only to comply with the Rooney Rule and to demonstrate an appearance of equal opportunity and a false willingness to consider a minority candidate for the position.”
Mike Mularkey, who is white, was hired for the position instead.
During an interview with the “Steelers Realm” podcast, Mularkey spoke about his hiring process for the head coach position and said:
“I allowed myself at one point when I was in Tennessee to get caught up in something I regret it and I still regret it. But the ownership there, Amy Adams Strunk, and her family came in and told me I was going be the head coach in 2016 before they went through the Rooney Rule. And so, I sat there knowing I was the head coach in ’16 as they went through this fake hiring process. Knowing a lot of the coaches they were interviewing, knowing how much they prepared to go through those interviews, knowing that everything they could do and they had no chance of getting that job.”
Horton also spoke about joining the lawsuit with Flores and Wilks and said:
“I am proud to stand with Coach Flores and Coach Wilks in combatting the systemic discrimination which has plagued the NFL for far too long. When I learned from Coach Mularkey’s statements that my head coach interview with the Titans was a sham, I was devastated and humiliated. By joining this case, I am hoping to turn that experience into a positive and make lasting change and create true equal opportunity in the future.”
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TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94