Roger Goodell says lack of diversity among head coaches has been ‘unacceptable’ in memo sent to NFL teams

Following Brian Flores’ filing of a lawsuit against the league alleging racism in its hiring practices, the NFL released a statement saying his claims were “baseless”. However, in a recently released memo to teams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the clear lack of diversity among head coaching hires in the league.

“We have made considerable efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs which have produced positive changes in many areas, but we must recognize that, particularly with regard to head coaches, the results have been unacceptable,” the memo, obtained by CBS Sports Senior NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, bed. “We will reassess and review all policies, guidelines and initiatives relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, including as they relate to gender.”

So far this hiring cycle, the white men have filled all six head coaching vacancies while three other positions remain open. Goodell added that the league is bringing in outside experts to help with this review and should seek feedback from current and former players to help resolve this issue as well.

“We understand the concerns expressed by Coach Flores and others this week,” Goodell wrote. “As the legal process moves forward, we will not wait to re-evaluate and modify our strategies to ensure they align with our values ​​and our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In particular, 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 also addressed Flores’ allegations of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross trying to pay Flores $100,000 per loss while he was the head coach at Miami during the 2019 season.

“We also take any issues related to the integrity of NFL games seriously,” Goodell noted in the memo. “These matters will be thoroughly and independently investigated. We expect these independent experts to receive the full cooperation of everyone associated with the league or any member club as this work progresses. .”

Ross denied Flores’ allegations in a statement following the news, but added that he would “fully cooperate” with the investigation.

Shortly after this memo was published, Doug Wigdor and John Elefterakis, attorneys for Flores, posted the following answer:

“Unfortunately, immediately after Coach Flores filed the class action lawsuit, the NFL and various teams, out of reflex and without any investigation, denied the detailed allegations set out in the 60-page complaint. As a result, when we spoke to national media, the following day, we have made it clear that the NFL should view this class action lawsuit as an opportunity to commit to real change and confront the obvious reality.

“Today’s statement by the Commissioner is, on the face of it, a positive first step, but we suspect it is more of a public relations ploy than a genuine commitment to change. For too many years, the NFL hid behind the cover of foundations that were supposed to protect the rights of black players and coaches, while letting systemic racial bias fester in its offices. The NFL is rolling out the same book again gambling and that is precisely why this lawsuit has been filed.

“We would love to talk to the commissioner about a real change, but unfortunately he hasn’t contacted us to initiate such a discussion. In fact, no one from the NFL has contacted us. In the absence of such a discussion followed by impartial discussion and concrete change, we believe that a court or government agency must order a federal monitor to oversee the NFL because the NFL cannot continue to monitor itself.”

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