The NFL is more concerned with caring for its image than with generating change

MIAMI — Times have changed and while every change always produces a shock, there are things that are wrong and are not even debatable.

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores set off a media bombshell last week by suing the league and its franchises for “systematic racism in the hiring and firing of minority coaches.”

Only one owner, Shad Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is in the minority. Currently, there is only one African-American head coach in the NFL (Mike Tomlin) and the rein always seems to get shorter with them. Examples like Jim Caldwell, Brian Flores and David Culley, to name a few, are clear examples of this.

As Flores said, “the lawsuit is not needed to realize that we have a problem.”

So why sue when it could cost you your head coaching career?

“Because we need action and change,” Flores said.

The Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority member before hiring a head coach, was put in place in 2003. While it may seem extreme to some, given that you hire who you want, things they were done so poorly for so many years that drastic action was needed.

The problem is that while the intention of the Rooney Rule was good, the execution still leaves a lot to be desired and needs to be improved and it is a shame that it takes a lawsuit to try to push for change, given that so much has been said about the lack of diversity among the NFL’s powerhouses, but little has been done about it.

Among Flores’ accusations in his lawsuit are the New York Giants, with whom he was going to interview on a Thursday, but two days before their meeting, he received a text message from Bill Belichick, who congratulated him on getting the job with New York. York. The problem is that Belichick got Brian wrong, since he actually wanted to send that message to Brian Daboll, who ultimately became the new Giants coach.

This made it clear that the Giants were simply going to interview Flores to comply with the Rooney Rule and not because they were going to give him genuine consideration for the job. Flores still interviewed them that Thursday, when he said he had “frustration, anger and sadness.”

In his lawsuit, Flores also targeted the Denver Broncos, because, according to him, John Elway and other managers showed up to the meeting “hours late and intoxicated”, when they had actually decided to hire Vic Fangio.

This is not to say that the Giants and Broncos picks were motivated by racism, but it does show that the system is broken.

Since the time of her lawsuit, Flores has received a lot of support from several African-American aides who would share their experiences and join the legal action.

I have lived full-time in the United States since 2008 and I can assure you that racism is sadly still present in all aspects of daily life and the NFL is no exception. What saddened me the most is that the initial reaction of the league was to deny all the accusations of Flores, when it was literally impossible to investigate the case properly in one day, since the response of the league was almost immediate, only two hours after breaking the news.

This showed me that the NFL, once again, was more interested in protecting its image than finding a solution.

Flores’ lawsuit didn’t end there, because he also took aim at Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

According to Flores, in 2019, Ross would have offered him $100,000 for each loss to try to improve the Dolphins’ draft position. The then Miami coach refused, the team won more games and that would have pissed off Ross.

Flores’ legal team says they have evidence, including witnesses and messages from general manager Chris Grier. Ross categorically denies it, but if this were proven, it would be very serious and could even end with the league’s decision to take the team from Ross and even talk about a federal crime.

As if that were not enough, the former coach of the Cleveland Browns, Hue Jackson, joined this trend. When a Twitter user made a joke by saying, “If Jackson was offered $100,000 for a loss, he would be one of the richest men in the world,” for the Browns’ many years of mediocrity, Jackson replied, “Jimmy Haslam was happy while we lost and he gave me a good number”.

Not only is all this unethical, but it also undermines the competitiveness of the league and could open a Pandora’s box.

Flores is direct and dry at times, but in my experience, neither the words nor the ethics of Flores can be questioned beyond the fact that some question the timing of his actions. This, moreover, is evidenced when the former Dolphins coach refused to meet with Tom Brady, since he had violated the tampering rules.

Ross promises to collaborate with the investigation and denies what Flores said. One of the two is not telling the truth and I hope that the investigation unmasks the truth.

In an era where gambling is becoming more prevalent, the NFL must ensure that it gets to the bottom of this issue and cleanses the sport of suspicion.

In this case, the NFL assured that it will investigate the accusations.

Interestingly, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was the most sensible with his words in times of chaos: “There are many things we do wrong and we need to improve.”

I just hope that all of this movement isn’t just about taking care of public image and that the fact that we’re about to start the offseason doesn’t stop the NFL from really moving to bring about positive change.

In the United States, 91 of the 100 most watched programs on television were NFL games. American football is a fascinating product, but the change and the intention to improve must be constant, because when you give in to arrogance and injustice, success falls apart.

I sincerely hope that the Flores lawsuit is a turning point in the league that I am so passionate about and that positive changes are coming.

It was not my intention to talk about this topic in Super Bowl week, but at the same time, I think it was necessary to give my opinion and do my bit at such a crucial moment for the league.

To say goodbye with something related to what happens on the field, I leave you with THE BEST PLAY OF EACH SUPER BOWL.

*Local teams are in second place

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker