OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit in February against the NFL and several teams including the Broncos, the Giants, and the Dolphins for racial discrimination in their hiring process.
“Because we need change,” Flores stated when asked for reasons why he filed the lawsuit. “That was the number one reason. And I know there is a sacrifice, there’s risk to that. But, at the end of the day, we need change. I know many very capable black coaches, some on my staff, who if given an opportunity, are going to go and do a great job on their interview.”
“We need to change the hearts and minds of the people making those decisions,” Flores added. “That’s why we filed the lawsuit.”
Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores joined @GetUpESPN to discuss his decision to sue the NFL and three teams, alleging racism in hiring practices.
"We need change. … We need to change the hearts and minds of people making those decisions." pic.twitter.com/HnlTHtZ2t5
— ESPN (@espn) February 2, 2022
As a result of the lawsuit, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pledged to take a look at the league’s hiring process in order to go to full woke.
“We’re not having the success we want with head coaches,” Goodell remarked. “How do we evolve that rule, or do we have to have a new rule? Do we need to find some other way of being able to achieve that outcome? I think we’re not going to rest until we find that, until we get those outcomes that are mandatory for us to move forward and have an inclusive league.”
NFL.com reported on Monday that every team will be required to hire an assistant coach from a minority community for the offensive staff. The individual can be a woman or a minority and will receive a one-year agreement partially funded by the league.
“It’s a recognition that at the moment, when you look at stepping stones for a head coach, they are the coordinator positions,” explained Steelers owner Art Rooney II, who is the chairman of the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
“We clearly have a trend where coaches are coming from the offensive side of the ball in recent years, and we clearly do not have as many minorities in the offensive coordinator [job].”
In a statement earlier in the day, Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin – who hired Flores to his coaching staff in the offseason – said he doubted if the new measures would make a difference in increasing the diversity hires of coaches and staff.
“I haven’t been in any discussions, and, no, I don’t have a level of confidence that would lead me to believe that things are going to be better,” Tomlin stated. “I’m more of a show-me guy as opposed to a guy that sits around and talks about things.”
No team should be coerced to hire someone based on skin color. Whoever THE TEAM feels is the best candidate should be the one hired. Back in school, if you sucked at kickball you didn't get picked.
— FamousAmos (@TheFamousOfAmos) March 28, 2022
Additionally, the NFL announced the formation of its Diversity Advisory Committee on Monday.
“Today, the National Football League (NFL) announced the creation of the NFL Diversity Advisory Committee, following its pledge last month to retain outside experts to review the league’s diversity policies and practices,” the league said in a news release. “The six-member committee will lend its expert, external perspective on industry best practices and will evaluate league and club diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies and initiatives, including all hiring processes, policies and procedures, with a primary focus on senior-level coach and front office personnel positions.”
The statement continued:
After completing this evaluation, the committee will provide comprehensive recommendations to the league office and club ownership for consideration.
We’ve worked for years and made progress in many areas to ensure that staff and leaders in our office and at our clubs reflect the racial and gender makeup of America, but we have more work to do, particularly at the head coach and front-office level,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “This esteemed group’s work will help us build a more inclusive league. We look forward to their recommendations — and to continuing our conversations with other outside experts, community and civil rights leaders, Fritz Pollard Alliance and current and former players and coaches — to make our efforts and those of the clubs more effective so that real and tangible results will be achieved.
Among the NFL’s initiatives to enhance opportunities for minority coaching candidates, teams will now be required to hire a minority coach as an offensive assistant, NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported Monday. The NFL is also looking at having teams invite staff members to league events, an idea Commanders coach Ron Rivera said he believes would help the cause since it would allow minority candidates to get acquainted with decision-makers in more relaxed settings, Battista added.
The 32 clubs released a joint statement Monday regarding their commitment to increasing diversity among ownership:
The NFL member clubs support the important goal of increasing diversity among ownership. Accordingly, when evaluating a prospective ownership group of a member club pursuant to League policies, the membership will regard it as a positive and meaningful factor if the group includes diverse individuals who would have a significant equity stake in and involvement with the club, including serving as the controlling owner of the club.
Actor Will Smith is surely eligible for a role in the new NFL as he is a minority and he is prone to criminal violence as evidenced by his episode at the Oscars this week. Imagine the ratings the new ‘woker’ NFL would get.