No mention of Flores’ lawsuit in the Goodell Super Bowl

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference ahead of Super Bowl LVII at the Phoenix Convention Center on February 8, 2023 in Phoenix.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference ahead of Super Bowl LVII at the Phoenix Convention Center on February 8, 2023. in Phoenix.
Picture: Getty Images

Every year at the Super Bowl, reporters have the opportunity to ask the commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell questions to be answered on live television while the world watches. This year the queries and subjects varied from two black backs making history, Damar Hamlin, serviceand the potential ways the league will broadcast upcoming games. But the dark cloud — no pun intended — that has hung over the NFL for more than a year was not mentioned once Wednesday. And it’s proof that the NFL likes the fact that people have forgotten that Brian Flores, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton are leading the ongoing joint lawsuit against the league for alleged racist hiring practices.

Distractions are part of the game

It’s been more than a year since the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins — and the current one defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings — he dropped a bomb on the sports world when he decided to do so legal action was the only way for people to thoroughly understand how rigged the game is for black coaches in the NFL.

“It’s hard to say…but this is bigger than football. This is bigger than coaching,” Flores said.

Days later, Goodell was on stage answering questions at the Super Bowl about that, and more.

“I think I would start with the premise that racism or any form of discrimination is against our values. And really something we will not tolerate,” he said at last year’s press conference.

The same as it was

Wednesday was more of the same. “I have, but I still feel there’s more work to be done and more work to do,” Goodell said of the “significant progress” that has occurred with head coaching diversity. “I think there is progress and we are glad to see progress. But never enough.”

A lot has happened since Goodell took the stage last year in Los Angeles and when he returned to it in Arizona. For example, Flores’ lawsuit was joined by Steve Wilks and Ray Horton. Flores spent last season as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is now with the Vikings — again as an assistant. Wilks was the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers, but due to the history of men who bear that title due to their skin colorhe never had a chance to get a job forever – regardless of whether he owned the Panthers David Tepper claims he’s trying to root out the league’s “old boys’ network.”.” It’s Horton coaching in the USFL. And you can still count the number of African-American head coaches in the league on the fingers of one hand and have a few fingers to spare, as Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), DeMeco Ryans (Houston) and Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay) make up the trinity.

I thought Goodell said progress was happening. Does it seem so to you? Maybe my eyesight is bad.

Last fall, plaintiffs’ attorneys alleged racial bias against the NFL because the league wanted things moved to arbitration – where no one can see. In court documents, the lawyers wrote that “arbitration would allow ‘unconscionably biased one-sided ‘kangaroo courts’ to determine the outcome. If arbitration is where things end up, that means Goodell will be the arbitrator — which is in the best interest of the teams being sued and the league. The latest development has occurred last week when it was announced that the judge presiding over the case requested that more written information about the arbitration be submitted later in the month.

What does that mean?

That this matter is still in limbo, as we wait to see if this will play out in court or behind closed doors.

But, even if this arbitration decision goes the way of Brian Flores, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton, we have no idea when the dust will finally settle — which is a win for the league. Because even though the league might lose this case, they have a winning strategy. Which means ignoring him, like everyone else did Wednesday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.

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