NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Speaks Out About Brian Flores Lawsuit

He says the league has fallen short when it comes to diversity in coaching hiring.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is speaking out about the lawsuit filed by ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores against the NFL and three of its franchises.

“We believe in diversity. We believe it has made us stronger. People who have come into the league who are diverse have been very successful and made us better, and we just have to do a better job,” Goodell said on Wednesday (Feb .9), according to Sports Illustrated. “ ...Is there another thing that we can do to make sure that we’re attracting the best talent and making our league more inclusive? If I had the answer right now, I would give it to you. I would have implemented it.

"I think we have to continue to look and find and step back and say, 'We're not doing a good enough job here,' “ he continued. “We need to find better solutions and better outcomes. Let's find more effective policies. Let's make sure everyone understands. Let's make sure that we're looking at diversity and incentivizing that for everybody in our building.”

Flores’ lawsuit has rocked the world of not only football but pro sports in general, with far reaching implications on the nature of discrimination in professional athletic management.

RELATED: How The Sports World Is Reacting To Brian Flores’ Lawsuit Against The NFL, Teams

RELATED: Analysis: The Bombshell Brian Flores NFL Lawsuit Brings Out Serious Questions Of Alleged Longtime Racist Hiring Practices

There are currently only five minority head coaches in the NFL. Two were fired and two were hired this offseason. Goodell says every option is on the table, including replacing the league’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview two minority coaches before making a final decision on a hire.

Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the Dolphins, the NFL and two other teams – the Denver Broncos and New York Giants – earlier this month, alleging he was discriminated against during his interview processes with the latter two organizations and firing from the Dolphins last month.

According to ESPN, the 58-page lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court on February 1 and seeks class-action status. Flores, who is Black alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tried to incentivize him to purposely lose games shortly after he was hired in 2019.

Flores says that as the team won games, Ross allegedly offered him $100,000 for every game he’d lose. Miami general manager Chris Grier told him that Ross was “mad” that Flores’ late-season winning was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

The suit also includes text messages he alleges are from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick demonstrating that the Giants conducted an interview with Flores knowing they intended to hire someone else to be head coach and to comply with the Rooney Rule.

“While racial barriers have been eroded in many areas, Defendant the National Football League (“NFL” or the “League”) lives in a time of the past,” the lawsuit states. “As described throughout this Class Action Complaint, the NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers.”

It continues, in-part: “Over the years, the NFL and its 32-member organizations (the “Teams”) have been given every chance to do the right thing. Rules have been implemented, promises made—but nothing has changed. In fact, the racial discrimination has only been made worse by the NFL’s disingenuous commitment to social equity.”

Since Flores filed his lawsuit, the Houston Texans hired former Tamba Bay and Chicago head coach Lovie Smith, a Black man, for their top job, and the Dolphins have hired Mike McDaniels, who is described as biracial.

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