Rodger Goodell Speaks on NFL Discrimination Lawsuit

Goodell: I bear responsibility, along with NFL teams, for shortcomings on head coach diversity

by PigskinMT

Posted 3 months ago


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he bears personal responsibility for the league’s shortcomings in hiring minority head coaches.

“Yes, I do bear that responsibility, as well as all our clubs,’’ said Goodell, who is in his 16th season as the league’s commissioner, on Wednesday during his annual Super Bowl news conference.

Former Patriots coordinator and Dolphins sent shockwaves through the league with a wide ranging lawsuit related to minority hiring in the NFL as well as claims coaches are being paid to tank seasons by owners. Flores’ lawsuit includes text messages from Bill Belichick that show Flores was already out of contention for the New York Giants’ open head coaching job before he even interviewed. It alleges his reputation for being difficult to work with started when he refused to tamper with a free agent quarterback on the yacht of Miami’s owner. It claims Broncos executives showed up hungover and unprepared when they interviewed him for their head coaching position.

After Flores’ lawsuit came out, former Cleveland Browns coach Hugh Jackson alleged he was also given rewards for losing games. In responding to people on Twitter, Jackson said Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was pleased when Cleveland would lose, and that he was offering “a good number” for losses.

Goodell said the league will review its policies on diversity and inclusion and would consider an complete overhaul. But he offered no specifics and said as of now he has no solution.

“You don’t take anything off the table,'' he said. "So if it requires an overall, you do it. If it requires changes in other areas, you do it. Obviously we haven’t been successful to date, so we’ve got to look at every one of those alternatives.''

The 32-team league has five minority head coaches. Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Lovie Smith, recently hired by the Houston Texans, are Black and Mike McDaniel, recently hired by the Miami Dolphins, is multiracial. The Washington Commanders' Ron Rivera is the only Latino head coach in the NFL, and the New York Jets' Robert Saleh is Arab American.

Several questions from the media stemmed from the proposed class-action lawsuit recently filed by former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices.

Initially, the league said the lawsuit filed against the NFL, Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos was “without merit.’’ Saturday, however, Goodwell sent a memo to the all NFL teams stating efforts to diversify the league's coaching ranks have produced "unacceptable" results and added that the league will look into allegations of tanking.


Topic: Sports

Tags: Roger Goodell Brian Flores NFL Lawsuit

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