Brian Flores asks the NFL to deny the Miami Dolphins’ request to have an arbitration hearing concerning his class-action lawsuit against both the team and league based on racial hiring practices.
Flores’ lawyer wrote a Wednesday letter to Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, asking him to reject Miami’s request for a settlement and to settle the matter in court.
Douglas H. Wigdor, attorney, wrote that arbitration is not transparent. In his letter, attorney Douglas H. Wigdor stated that arbitration is, by its very nature, a secretive process that occurs behind closed doors and out of the public eye. Arbitration’s lack of transparency only serves to perpetuate the status quo, which in this instance is one you have acknowledged must be fair evaluated and possibly overhauled. Arbitration cannot allow this to happen. Arbitration is secretive and confidential. It is also a well-known fact that it can be a barrier to justice in cases of discrimination or other misconduct.
Flores was hired last month as a senior defensive assistant by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He filed his lawsuit against Miami, the NFL, Dolphins and New York Giants. Flores was the Dolphins’ most successful player before he was fired in Jan.
Flores stated in a statement that his lawyer provided, “The claims we filed concern important issues of systemic racism discrimination and integrity of NFL football plays.” “Unfortunately, the Dolphins along with their lawyers, Quinn Emanuel, and Paul Weiss are trying to push the claims on the Dolphins into secret arbitration procedures that lack transparency. Current legislative efforts are underway to stop forced arbitration for claims based on race discrimination. I fully support them. I hope the NFL and Dolphins will also support these efforts. Now Commissioner Goodell has to make a decision. Or will he continue on the same unacceptable path?
Flores claims that the league discriminated against him, and other Black coaches, for racial reasons. They denied them positions as quarterbacks coaches, offensive and defensive coaches, and general managers. Flores claims that Miami offered him $100,000 per losing season in 2019, in order to get a top draft pick.
Although the NFL claims the suit is without merit, Goodell stated before the Super Bowl that “all the allegations, regardless of whether they were based upon racism, discrimination, or the integrity of the game, were all to me very disturbing.”
Last month, the Dolphins requested an arbitration hearing.
Wigdor wrote to Goodell, “We also hope that, after reading this letter, and reflecting further, that the Dolphins will reconsider and withdraw their arbitration request so Mr. Flores’ claims of race discrimination, and other unlawful conduct, can be heard in an fair and transparent manner in front of both a judge, and a jury composed of his peers.” The league will reject Miami’s request for arbitration if it is really committed to “ending racism”, as it has repeatedly stated. Transparency is key to the integrity of the sport.