Roger Goodell – Results of NFL coaching diversity efforts are ‘unacceptable’

The results of NFL coaching diversity efforts are “unacceptable,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo sent to all clubs Saturday morning.

The memo, titled “Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” surfaced four days after the NFL appealed the claims in coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit alleging discrimination in the coaching process. “unfounded” hiring.

Flores, fired by the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 10 despite back-to-back winning seasons, hopes to “shed light on the racial injustices occurring within the NFL,” according to his lawsuit filed this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is the league’s only current black head coach.

“Racism and any form of discrimination is against the values ​​of the NFL,” Goodell said. “We have made considerable efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs which have produced positive changes in many areas, but we must recognize that, particularly with regard to head coaches, the results have been unacceptable. We will reassess and review all policies, guidelines and initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The note also stressed that “we understand the concerns” of Flores and others this week.

Flores’ lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from the NFL while seeking to increase black influence in the hiring process, objectivity in hiring for important positions, and pay transparency, among other things problems. Flores is suing the Denver Broncos and New York Giants, alleging discrimination in interviews, as well as the Dolphins over his firing last month and owner Stephen Ross’ efforts to undermine Flores’ job. Among Flores’ claims: Ross tried to induce Flores to lose games with bonuses of $100,000 for every loss in 2019; Broncos executive John Elway appearing hungover during a 2019 job interview; and the Giants deciding to hire current head coach Brian Daboll before interviewing Flores. All three teams have vehemently denied Flores’ claims.

Flores’ attorneys released a statement on Saturday and said they “suspect this is more of a public relations ploy than a genuine commitment to change.”

“Today’s statement by the Commissioner is, on the face of it, a positive first step, but we suspect it is more of a public relations ploy than a genuine commitment to change,” Flores attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis said. A declaration. “For too many years, the NFL has hidden behind the cover of foundations meant to protect the rights of black players and coaches, while letting systemic racial bias fester in its offices. The NFL is now rolling out the same book gambling at the moment again and that is precisely why this lawsuit has been filed.We would be happy to talk to the commissioner about an actual change, but unfortunately he has not contacted us to initiate such a discussion In fact, no one in the NFL has reached out In the absence of such a discussion followed by an unbiased and concrete change, we believe that a court or government agency should order a federal comptroller to oversee the NFL because the NFL cannot continue to control itself.

As the NFL has tried to bolster the Rooney Rule — which requires teams to interview minority applicants and offers draft picks to encourage minority hiring — the numbers have tended to drop. New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh is the only minority head coaching candidate hired in the past two cycles — seven last year, five so far this year. This total includes zero black coaches.

GM candidates are faring better, with two black hires — Ryan Poles of the Chicago Bears, Kwasi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings — selected out of four hires made this cycle.

“While the legal process [with Flores] Moving forward, we will not wait to re-evaluate and modify our strategies to ensure they are consistent with our values ​​and our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said said Goodell. “In particular, we recognize the need to understand the lived experiences of diverse members of the NFL family to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities and is treated with respect and dignity.”

The issue of integrity of play will also be considered “thoroughly and independently” by the league while expecting full cooperation from the league. “There’s a lot of work to do, and we’ll take advantage of this moment and seize the opportunity to become a stronger, more inclusive league,” Goodell said.

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