Roger Goodell addresses 'unacceptable' lack of diversity in NFL head coaching ranks after Brian Flores sues

The NFL commissioner underscored the league’s commitment to diversity but said the lack of racial equity in the coaching ranks was “不可接受的。” As of the weekend, 的 匹兹堡钢人队’ Mike Tomlin was the lone Black head coach in the league.

Ron Rivera of the 华盛顿指挥官 and Robert Saleh of the 纽约喷气机 are the other minority head coaches in the league. Rivera’s parents were Puerto Rican and Mexican and Saleh is of Lebanese descent and a practicing Muslim.

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Racism and any form of discrimination is contrary to the NFL’s values,” the Goodell memo states. “We have made significant efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs, which have produced positive changes in many areas, however we must acknowledge that — particularly with respect to head coaches — the results have been unacceptable.

We will reevaluate and examine all policies, guidelines and initiatives relating to diversity, 平等与包容, including as they relate to gender. We are retaining outside experts to assist in this review and will also solicit input from current and former players and coaches, advocates and other authorities in this area. Our goal is simple: make our efforts and those of the clubs more effective so that real and tangible results will be achieved.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross before a game between the Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts at Hard Rock Stadium Oct. 3, 2021, in Miami Gardens, 弗拉.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross before a game between the Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts at Hard Rock Stadium Oct. 3, 2021, in Miami Gardens, 弗拉. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

We understand the concerns expressed by coach Flores and others this week. While the legal process moves forward, we will not wait to reassess and modify our strategies to ensure that they are consistent with our values and longstanding commitment to diversity, 平等与包容. 尤其是, we recognize the need to understand the lived experiences of diverse members of the NFL family to ensure that everyone has access to opportunity and is treated with respect and dignity.

Goodell also addressed claims Flores made about allegedly being offered thousands of dollars to lose games while he was with the 迈阿密海豚 在 2019, a claim the team emphatically denied.

TERRELL DAVIS SUPPORTS BRIAN FLORES FOLLOWING LAWSUIT: ‘HE’S PUTTING EVERYTHING ON THE LINE

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, 中央, talks to down judge David Oliver (24) during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints Dec. 27, 2021, 在新奥尔良.

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, 中央, talks to down judge David Oliver (24) during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints Dec. 27, 2021, 在新奥尔良. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, 文件)

We also ask to take seriously any issue relating to the integrity of NFL games,” Goodell said. “These matters will be reviewed thoroughly and independently. We expect that these independent experts will receive full cooperation from everyone associated with the league or any member club as this work proceeds.

There is much work to do, and we will embrace this moment and seize the opportunity to become a stronger, more inclusive league.

Flores filed the lawsuit against the Dolphins, 纽约巨人, 丹佛野马队 and the NFL. He claimed to receive “假” interviews while seeking the Giants and Broncos jobs and alleged he was only being interviewed by teams so they could satisfy the Rooney Rule, which requires coaching interviews for minorities.

While each team denied Flores’ claims, the NFL said the allegations were “没有功绩” but didn’t say if an investigation is forthcoming.

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores (对) talks to Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross during a practice Nov. 3, 2019, in Miami Gardens, 弗拉.

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores (对) talks to Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross during a practice Nov. 3, 2019, in Miami Gardens, 弗拉. (美联社照片/威尔弗雷多李, 文件)

The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations,” the league said. “Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit.

周六, Flores’ attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis put out a statement in response to Goodell’s memo.

“不幸, immediately after coach Flores filed the class-action lawsuit, the NFL and various teams reflexively, and without any investigation, denied the detailed allegations set forth in the 60-page complaint,” 声明说. “结果是, when we spoke to the national media the following day, we made clear that the NFL should view this class-action lawsuit as an opportunity to engage in real change and confront the obvious reality. The statement made today by the commissioner is, on the surface, a positive first step, but we suspect that this is more of a public relations ploy than real commitment to change.

For too many years, the NFL has hidden behind the cover of foundations that were supposed to protect the rights of Black players and coaches, all while letting systemic racial bias fester in its front offices. The NFL is now rolling out the same playbook yet again, and that is precisely why this lawsuit was filed. We would be pleased to talk to the commissioner about real change, but unfortunately he has not reached out to us to engage in such a discussion.

“事实上, nobody from the NFL has reached out to us. Absent such a discussion followed by unbiased and concrete change, we believe that a court or governmental agency must order a federal monitor to oversee the NFL as the NFL cannot continue to police itself.

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