Wednesday September 27, 2023

Brian Flores Can Proceed to Trial Against NFL, Judge Says

  • A federal judge said Tuesday that she won’t change her March decision made regarding Brian Flores’ case against the NFL and three teams.
  • Flores, the Vikings’ defensive coordinator, claims that he and other Black coaches face discrimination.
A judge said she will not change her decision from March regarding Flores.
Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the NFL and three of its teams. Syndication Palm Beach Post
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A federal judge said Tuesday that she won’t change her decision regarding Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL, allowing the coach to proceed to trial against the league and three teams (the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Houston Texans) over claims that he and other Black coaches face racial discrimination. 

Tuesday’s ruling came from Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan federal court, according to the Associated Press. Flores, who was hired by the Minnesota Vikings in February to be its defensive coordinator, filed a lawsuit last year after he was fired as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and alleged the New York Giants conducted a “sham” interview to comply with the NFL’s Rooney Rule

Judge Caproni’s Tuesday ruling in favor of Flores re-confirms her stance taken in March, when she said he can proceed to trial against the league and three teams. She said it was “difficult to understand” how the NFL had just one Black head coach at the time Flores filed his lawsuit out of the league’s 32 teams with Black players making up about 70% of the rosters.

The NFL had hoped to receive approval to move Flores’ case to the league’s arbitration process, but its argument was rejected by the judge. However, the AP reports that Judge Caproni ruled that claims by two coaches who joined the Flores lawsuit after it was filed last year must shift to arbitration, where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will presumably serve as arbitrator.

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