Goodell says results of NFL diversity policies are ‘unacceptable’
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – Four days after former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 teams, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the lawsuit and racism in the league.
In a memo to teams Saturday, Goodell acknowledged that the league’s diversity programs and policies have changed the NFL, but haven’t done enough to ensure equality.
“We have to recognize that, particularly when it comes to head coaches, the results have been
unacceptable,” Goodell said in the memo.
In the lawsuit, Flores claims he faced racism from at least three different NFL teams when they failed to hire him as a coach.
As Flores takes center stage in the lawsuit, other black NFL coaches who were allegedly denied head coaching opportunities because of their race are mentioned.
One name mentioned in the trial documents is Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
In Saturday’s memo, Goodell said “racism and any form of discrimination” is against NFL values.
To address the issue, Goodell said the NFL would hire independent experts to assess the league’s diversity policies and programs, as well as any gender biases. Goodell said the league will also receive feedback from current and former players and coaches.
“We recognize the need to understand the lived experiences of diverse members of the NFL family to ensure everyone has access to opportunities and is treated with respect and dignity.” Goodell said in the memo.
The NFL is currently investigating the allegations relating to the integrity of NFL games, which is also mentioned in Flores’ lawsuit.
Flores claims that in 2019, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him $100,000 a game for intentionally losing to improve the team’s draft standing.
Goodell’s memo on Saturday said he expected owners, coaches and players to cooperate fully with the investigation of this complaint.
“There’s a lot of work to do, and we’ll take advantage of this moment and seize the opportunity to become a stronger, more inclusive league,” Goodell said.