Lawyer Brian Flores rejects arbitration in NFL racial bias lawsuit

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The attorney for Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores has rejected an apparent offer to arbitrate in his lawsuit against the NFL and others, he said in a letter made public Wednesday.

Flores is suing the NFL, alleging racial bias in hiring practices, among other issues. The lawsuit was filed before he was hired by the Steelers, following his firing as head coach of the Miami Dolphins earlier this year.

Attorney Douglas Wigdor said the purpose of the lawsuit was to highlight the racial imbalance in NFL practices, and that cannot happen if the case is resolved by private settlement.

“A fair and equitable adjudication of Mr. Flores’ claims is impossible without transparency,” Wigdor said. wrote. “Accountability requires transparency. NFL coaches (and candidates), players and the general public deserve this transparency. Arbitration is not transparent.

Flores also released a statement echoing that of his attorney, who argued directly with NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell that the Dolphins could be barred from seeking arbitration.

“The claims we have filed involve significant issues of systemic racial discrimination and the integrity of NFL football games,” Flores said. noted. “Unfortunately, the Dolphins and their attorneys, Quinn Emanuel and Paul Weiss, are attempting to push the claims against the Dolphins into a secret arbitration proceeding that lacks transparency. …

“Commissioner Goodell now has a choice to make. Will he allow this case and future allegations of racial discrimination to proceed through a transparent and public legal process, or will he continue down the same unacceptable path?

The Steelers have largely refrained from commenting on Flores’ legal battle with the league, with general manager Kevin Colbert saying last week at the 2022 NFL Combine in Indianapolis that the Steelers were just happy to add a strong defensive spirit.

The rest of the coaches and general managers assembled generally supported Flores’ cause and acknowledged the racial imbalance that left the NFL with five minority head coaches, including Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Brian Flores gets support, coaches call for change at NFL Combine: ‘He should be head coach’

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