The NFL has hired a former United States Attorney General Lorretta Lynch to represent them in the racial discrimination lawsuit that was filed by Brian Flores lawsuit, CNN reports.
Lynch, who was the first Black woman to become attorney general in US history, will defend the NFL, along with Brad Karp of the Paul, Weiss firm, said Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of communications. The firm, of which Lynch is a partner, also represented the NFL in concussion lawsuits filed by former players.
As EBONY previously reported, Flores is suing the NFL and several teams alleging racial discrimination in its hiring practices. The suit claims that the New York Giants interviewed Flores for their head coaching job, although they already intended to hire Brian Daboll for the position.
Flores alleges that the interview process was a “sham” to keep in compliance with the NFL’s “Rooney Rule,” which mandates teams to interview minority candidates for vacant head coaching and general manager jobs.
“Mr. Flores was forced to sit through a dinner with Joe Schoen, the Giant’s new General Manager, knowing that the Giants had already selected Mr. Daboll,” the suit says. “Much worse, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, Mr. Flores had to give an extensive interview for a job that he already knew he would not get—an interview that was held for no reason other than for the Giants to demonstrate falsely to the League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the public at large that it was in compliance with the Rooney Rule.”
When news of the lawsuit went public, the NFL issued a statement describing Flores’ allegations as “meritless.”
“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’s statement read. “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.”
Of the 32 teams in the league that is more than 70% African American, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans and Mike McDaniels of the Miami Dolphins are the only Black head coaches.