NFL Coach Brian Flores’ Attorneys Argue Roger Goodell Shouldn’t Arbitrate Racial Bias Lawsuit

Flores’ lawyers, who are pursuing a lawsuit against the league on his behalf, say a jury should be presented with their case.

Lawyers for three Black NFL coaches  presented their latest arguments against Roger Goodell, pushing for a jury to review their racial bias lawsuit and not have the NFL commissioner do so.

According to Sports Illustrated, papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday (Aug. 31), reveal that the attorneys wrote that arbitration would allow “unconscionably biased one-sided ‘kangaroo courts’” to determine the outcome of the lawsuit filed in February by Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins who was fired in January.

Steve Wilks and Ray Horton, the two other coaches, later joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs.

The lawyers argued in the filing that Goodell, who would lead the arbitration if the case is not decided by a jury, is incapable of being unbiased in overseeing and ruling on the dispute as to whether the NFL engages in systemic discrimination. Additionally, they note that the hundreds of millions of dollars he earns from teams, his previous statement that the lawsuit is without merit and the likelihood that he could be a witness in the case as reasons he should be recused as an arbitrator.

RELATED: NFL Intends To File Motion To Compel Brian Flores’ Lawsuit Into Arbitration

“If the Court compels arbitration, scores of employers following this case, and those who learn of it, will undoubtedly change their arbitration clauses to permit the appointment of an obviously biased decision-maker,” the lawyers said in the filing, according to SI.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni denied a request by lawyers for the coaches to gather additional evidence before she rules on whether the case must go to arbitration several weeks ago. This suggests that a ruling on the arbitration issues will come within weeks rather than months.

The lawsuit filed by Flores, now an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the other two coaches against the NFL and six of its franchise teams 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.

Flores announced the lawsuit on Feb. 2, just a week and a half before Super Bowl XVI, alleging that his interviews with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos were “sham” processes, meant to satisfy an NFL policy requiring that minorities be interviewed for high level positions, including coaching.

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