One week after a former coach accused the NFL of racial discrimination, commissionersaid Wednesday that the league won’t tolerate racism or discrimination, calling them “against our values.” , the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, made the allegations in a proposed class-action lawsuit following what he said was a “sham” interview for the New York Giants head coaching position.
During Goodell’s annual press conference ahead of the, the commissioner didn’t directly address Flores’ lawsuit, saying it would “go through the legal process.”
Goodell said the NFL has made progress in hiring diverse candidates. “But not at head coach, and that is something that we really have focused on, to try to get the kind of results that we would expect, and we fell short of that by a long shot for us,” Goodell said.
In Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL, Dolphins, Giants and Denver Broncos, the former coach alleges the Giants had already decided who would be its next head coach before interviewing Flores. On “CBS Mornings” last week, Flores cited congratulatory text messages he received from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick prior to his interview with the Giants. Flores said the texts seemed to be intended for Brian Daboll, whom the Giants ultimately hired.
Flores called the Giants interview a “sham,” and his attorneys claimed it was only conducted to comply with the league’s so-called Rooney Rule, a requirement for teams to interview people of color for top jobs.
The commissioner said Wednesday that the NFL was going over its policies to see if changes need to be made. “If we see evidence of discrimination, we will deal with that in a very serious way that would reflect the fact that we won’t tolerate it, and I think our clubs understand that,” Goodell said.
In the immediate aftermath of Flores’ lawsuit being filed, the NFL said the claims were “without merit.” The Giants said Flores was in contention for the coaching job “until the eleventh hour.”
Also Wednesday, Goodell said the league will conduct an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Washington Commanders owner. Tiffani Johnston, who worked for the team in the early 2000s, testified before Congress last week that Snyder placed his hand on her thigh at a team dinner and also pushed her toward his limousine with his hand on her lower back. Snyder has denied the allegations.
“We need to understand what really truly happened in those circumstances and treat that in the best and most serious way we can to make sure we preserve the type of culture we want in the NFL,” Goodell said.
Flores in his lawsuit also accused Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of offering him money to lose games in order to secure the team better draft picks. The Dolphins and Ross denied Flores’ allegations.
The accusations come as NFL officials get ready forthis Sunday, with the L.A. Rams facing off against the Cincinnati at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.