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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

NFL seeks mediation in Brian Flores lawsuit

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The NFL and six of its teams have sought arbitration in a lawsuit that accuses them of racial discrimination. If the league’s request is successful, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be the referee.

The league and teams filed documents Tuesday night with the judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by Brian Flores after he was fired as coach of the Miami Dolphins in January. The NFL says that team employment contracts signed by Flores and other coaches include clauses requiring the arbitration of all disputes.

Flores now works as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two other black coaches in the league – Steve Wilkes and Ray Horton – have joined Flores’ lawsuit, which they say is engaging in racist recruiting practices, despite claims to the contrary.

The NFL has insisted that the lawsuit is “meritless,” although Goodell said before the Super Bowl that “all allegations based on racism or discrimination or the integrity of our game were disturbing.”

A federal judge in Manhattan is unlikely to rule on arbitration in September at the earliest.

David Gottlieb, an attorney for the coaches, said Wednesday that keeping the case in arbitration secrecy was, in fact, “taking away the rights of our constituents.”

“Arbitration is the privatization of the judicial branch,” Gottlieb said. “We only ask for an open and fair process.”

He said lawyers for Flores and the other two coaches would argue that the lawsuit should be heard in federal court because any agreements requiring arbitration were signed with the teams, not the league.

In March, Flores’ attorney, Douglas Vigdor, wrote a letter to Goodell stating that “arbitration is not transparent” and calling for the court not to allow the trial to be dismissed.

World Nation News Desk
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