New Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores is involved in an ongoing class-action suit against the NFL and its teams claiming racial discrimination in the hiring process of coaches and front office personnel.
Flores filed the class-action lawsuit after he was fired by the Miami Dolphins following the 2021 season. Other coaches, including new San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, have since joined the lawsuit.
As for the NFL, it had been hoping to settle this through arbitration. It’s obvious that commissioner Roger Goodell and Co. didn’t want their dirty laundry being aired out in a public setting.
Unfortunately for the league, it will have to settle with Flores in order for this lawsuit to avoid trial.
Federal court judge Valerie Caproni on Wednesday denied the NFL’s bid to compel arbitration in the case. The judge also ordered a pretrial conference between all parties for March 24 in the ruling.
“For the foregoing reasons, Defendants’ motion to compel is granted except that it is denied as to Brian Flores’ claims against the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and the Houston Texans, and his related claims against the NFL.
Defendants’ request to stay the case is denied as to Flores’ claims that they may proceed litigations and is granted as to all of the claims that must be arbitrated.”Ruling on Brian Flores’ class-action suit against the NFL
All the legal mumbo jumbo aside, this means that Brian Flores’ claims can be heard in trial. However, allegations from the aforementioned Wilks as well as fellow former NFL assistant Ray Horton will proceed through arbitration.
As noted above, the NFL had been attempting to bring this case to arbitration. In that scenario, any evidence presented that backed the claims of Flores and his co-plaintiffs would have been made in private. If this is actually heading to a jury trial, that won’t be the case.
It was several years ago that the NFL settled out of court with former Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick after the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback claimed that the league and its teams colluded to keep him out of the NFL.
Said decision was likely based on the league not wanting evidence to be made public in the case. As for the ruling in Flores’ lawsuit, his side seems to be pretty darn happy right now.
“We are pleased that Coach Flores’ class claims of systematic discrimination against the NFL and several teams will proceed in court and ultimately before a jury of his peers,” attorney Douglas Wigdor said in a statement.