The NFL’s legal defense against the discrimination lawsuit initiated by coach Brian Flores and joined by two other Black coaches is starting to take shape.
In a letter released Thursday (April 21), the NFL’s lawyers say they plan to ask a Manhattan federal judge to either place the case in arbitration or dismiss it without a trial because it lacks legal merit, the Associated Press reports.
“Defendants have not discriminated against Plaintiffs (or the Black coaches and general managers they purport to represent) on the basis of their race, nor have Defendants retaliated against Mr. Flores for filing this lawsuit,” the AP quotes the lawyers.
The NFL defenses include jurisdiction, venue and statute-of-limitations defenses. They want Flores, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton to arbitrate their claims according to the terms of employment agreements with the NFL and its teams.
The lawsuit filed by the Flores, an ex-Miami Dolphins head coach, against the NFL and three 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.