On Tuesday, the NFL filed a lawsuit in federal court to arbitrate Brian Flores’ class action against the league and several teams in which he and two other coaches allege racial discrimination in his hiring practice.
The application was made to the District Court for the Southern District of New York in the United States and contained amended contracts for all the coaches named in the application, Flores, Steve Wilk and Ray Horton. The application also includes a copy of the NFL’s bylaws and bylaws.
In its statement, the NFL stated that all three coaches agreed in their signed contracts to settle all claims against the teams that worked for them, and that “the provisions of the NFL Constitutional Arbitration Agreement that the plaintiffs agreed to expressly include claims involving two or more member clubs, and requirements between everyone ‘s coach and any member club – that’ s exactly the case here.
The NFL also argued in its statement that these signed agreements also force any claim against the arbitral tribunal and that the Supreme Court precedent requires that each man resolve his claim individually.
Flores, who filed a lawsuit in February, also claimed that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $ 100,000 in the 2019 season, his first on the team to improve his draft position. In a statement filed on Tuesday, the NFL said it was not up to federal courts to decide, writing: “Courts are particularly reluctant to intervene in such matters because the internal standards of professional sports leagues may not be familiar to Charles O. Finley & Co v. Kuhn (1978) and Crouch v. NASCAR (1988).
In May, one of Flores’ lawyers, Douglas Wigdor, argued before a judge that arbitration was the wrong way to settle a lawsuit. Flores’ lawyers also said in a statement in April, when the NFL first expressed its intention to submit to arbitration to rule out much-needed transparency in the case.
Flores’ lawyers want the case to go to court for a jury trial, where it will eventually be discovered and each party can look at the relevant documents in the other’s possession.
Flores claimed he was discriminated against by Dolphins’ dismissal in January and by Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Houston Texans, teams he interviewed for as head coach but not hired. Flores claimed to have received “fake” interviews from the Broncos and Giants to comply with the Rooney rule’s requirement to interview minority coaches. The Texans were later added to the lawsuit after Flores claimed that the team retaliated against him, not hiring him because he filed the lawsuit.
The Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans were added to the lawsuit in April when Wilks and Horton joined the lawsuit. Wilks claims the Cardinals did not give him “any substantive chance of success” by firing him after one season when Arizona finished 3:13. In 2016, Horton Titans was promoted to Mike Mularkey.
Mularkey, who was the team’s interim head coach for the last nine games of the 2015 season, told the 2020 broadcast that Titans owners told him he intended to get the job before they finished the interview process, including interviewing two minority candidates.
Flores currently works for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a defense assistant and lineback coach. Wilks currently works for the Carolina Panthers as a defensive coach and second coach. The NFL’s statement also included revised copies of Flores ‘contract with Steelers and Wilks Panthers, as well as Flores’ contract with New England Patriots, a team he worked for before Dolphins was hired.
Horton is now retired.
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