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Two more black coaches join Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit against NFL

Two black coaches with substantial NFL experience on Thursday joined the actors class action lawsuit accused the federation and its teams of discriminating and paying lip service for minority recruitment rules.

The lawsuit of former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stars Steve Wilks, former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and Ray Horton, who most recently served as defensive lineback coach for the team now known as the Washington Commanders.

Wilks was in charge in Arizona in 2018 when the Cardinals finished 3-13.

Wilks “was discriminated against by the Arizona Cardinals” for being hired solely as a “bridge coach” and “wasn’t given any meaningful chance of success,” Flores’s revised lawsuit argues.

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Arizona replaced Wilks with Kliff Kingsbury, a former head coach at Texas Tech University who had no NFL coaching experience. Kingsbury, who is white, scored 35-40 in six seasons of college, a score below 500, despite the service of future NFL star Patrick Mahomes in Lubbock.

The Cardinals became a playoff contender under Kingsbury and Dynamic midfielder Kyler Murray.

“Mr Wilks, given the same opportunity afforded to Mr. Kingsbury, is certain to succeed as well,” the suit said.

Wilks is now defensive passing game coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.

“The decisions we made after the 2018 season were very difficult decisions,” the cardinal said in Thursday’s statement. “But as we said at the time, they were purely driven by what was in the best interest of our organization and needed to improve the team. We are confident that the facts reflect that and prove that these allegations are untrue.”

Horton was the Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator when, he alleges, he underwent a mock interview for the main job in Nashville to meet the NFL’s Ask for the “Rooney Rule” to interview minority candidates.

Horton was at home in Phoenix when, he alleges, he was called on January 15, 2016, and asked to board a last-second late-night flight to Tennessee to meet Amy Adams Stronkcontrol owner of the Titans, to interview for the head coach position.

The lawsuit said “the urgency of the request was because Mr. Horton was told, because “Strunk’s niece” was competing in an equestrian event for which she was due to travel to Tampa, Florida on Saturday.

“So Mr. Horton made a little-announced red-eye flight to interview for the Titans” on January 16, according to the lawsuit.

“As Mr Horton now understands, the rush to interview him was a orchestrated attempt to get the Titans to comply with the Rooney Rule and appear to have given an equal opportunity to the Black candidates. so that the team can notify the decision in advance.”

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A short time later, Tennessee announced that Mike Mularkey, then interim head coach of the Titans, had secured the job permanently.

Mr. Mularkey admitted that he knew the job was his before being interviewed and that minority candidates interviewed as part of the process had to go through sham interviews … in order to comply. The Rooney Rule and/or create the appearance of a non-discriminatory process,” according to the lawsuit.

While the NFL declined to comment on Thursday, the Titans insisted their Mularkey hire was due to the book.

“Our 2016 head coach search was a thoughtful and competitive process that is fully aligned with NFL principles and our own organizational values,” the Titans said in a statement. Father.

“We conducted detailed, one-on-one interviews with four talented individuals, two of whom are diverse applicants. No decisions have been made and no decisions have been communicated. prior to completing all interviews.While we pride ourselves on our Commitment to Diversity, we are dedicated to our continued growth as an organization that promotes diversity and inclusion. enter in our communities and workplaces.”

Flores is now a assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelersworking under the league’s longest-serving black head coach, Mike Tomlin.

The Amazing Miami Dolphins parted company with Flores after three years at the helm, including 10-6 and 9-8 records in his final two seasons. The once proud franchisewith two Super Bowl titles, had not had a consecutive winning season since 2003 before it hired Flores.

The NFL has come under increasing scrutiny over its recruiting practices, with just one some minority head coaches in a tournament that more than two-thirds of players are not white.

The short list includes Tomlin in Pittsburgh, Ron Rivera in Washington, Lovie Smith in Houston and Robert Saleh with the New York Jets. Mike McDanielrecently rent in Miamiidentified as “multiracial”.

Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll is said to have called the name the NFL’s lack of diversity in recent league meetings.

Adam Reiss contribute.

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