No level out of Flores' lawsuit in Goodell great Bowl presser

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks all through a press convention upfront of great Bowl LVII at Phoenix convention center on Feb. eight, 2023, in Phoenix.
picture: Getty pictures

yearly on the great Bowl, journalists get an alternative to ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the questions that should be answered on dwell tv as a outcome of the world watches. This 12 months, the inquiries and topic issues ranged from two Black quarterbacks making historic previous, Damar Hamlin, officiating, and the potential methods in which the league will broadcast upcoming video games. however, the Black cloud — no pun supposed — that’s been hovering over the NFL for over a 12 months wasn’t talked about as quickly as on Wednesday. And it’s proof that the NFL is loving the actuality that people appear to have forgotten that Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton have an ongoing class-movement lawsuit in opposition to the league for its alleged racist hiring practices.

Distractions are a part of the sport

It’s been over a 12 months as a outcome of the earlier Miami Dolphins head coach — and current defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings — dropped a bomb on the sports activities world when he decided that authorized movement was the one strategy to make people utterly understand simply how rigged the sport is for Black coaches inside the NFL.

“It’s onerous to discuss out…however that is larger than soccer. that is larger than teaching,” acknowledged Flores.

Days later, Goodell was on stage answering questions on the great Bowl about that, and extra.

“i really feel I’d start with the idea that racism or any kind of discrimination is in opposition to our values. And actually one factor that we’re going to not tolerate,” he acknowledged finally 12 months’s press convention.

similar as a outcome of it ever was

On Wednesday, it was extra of the identical. “I do, however I nonetheless really feel like there’s elevated work, and extra work forward of us,” Goodell acknowledged regarding the “significant progress” that’s taken place with variety amongst head coaches. “i really feel that there is progress, and we’re comfortable to see progress. nonetheless it’s by no means passable.”

a whole lot has occurred since Goodell took the stage final 12 months in la and when he returned to it in Arizona. as an illustration, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton joined Flores’ lawsuit. Flores spent final season as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he’s now with the Vikings — as an assistant, as quickly as extra. Wilks was the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers, however as a consequence of the historic previous of the boys who carry that title collectively with his pores and skin shade, he by no means had an alternative of completely touchdown the job — regardless of if Panthers proprietor David Tepper is claiming to be making an try to eradicate the league’s “outdated boys community.” Horton is teaching inside the USFL. and also you may nonetheless rely the quantity of African-American head coaches inside the league on one hand and have some fingers left to spare, as Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), DeMeco Ryans (Houston), and Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay) are the melanated trinity.

i believed Goodell acknowledged progress was occurring. Does it appear to be it to you? maybe my eyesight is unhealthy.

final fall, the plaintiffs’ attorneys had been alleging racial bias in opposition to the NFL as a outcome of the league wished issues to maneuver to arbitration — the place no particular person can see. In courtroom paperwork, the attorneys wrote that “arbitration would allow ‘unconscionably biased one-sided ‘kangaroo courts’ to get your hands on out the outcome. If arbitration is the place issues land, it signifies that Goodell could be the arbitrator — which is in a single in every of the best curiosity of the teams that are being sued, and the league. the latest enchancment occurred final week when it was reported that the choose presiding over the case has requested that extra written briefings about arbitration be submitted later inside the month.

What does that imply?

That this factor continues to be in limbo, as we’re ready to see if this will play out in courtroom or behind closed doorways.

however, even when this arbitration decision does go the best methodology of Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton, we do not know when the mud will lastly settle — which is a win for the league. as a outcome of whereas the league would possibly wind up shedding this case, they’ve a worthwhile approach. Which is to ignore it, as all people else did on a Wednesday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.

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