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Flores’ lawyers call out NFL’s arbitration system

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Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores watches from the sideline throughout the second quarter against the Recent England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

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Aug 31 (Reuters) – Attorneys for former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and two other coaches filed on Wednesday a response to the National Football League’s motion to force arbitration on their racial discrimination lawsuit against the league.

In accordance with a transient submitted on behalf of Flores, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton, the NFL’s arbitration procedure bears no resemblance to a neutral judicial forum and fails to comport with basic principles of fairness.

It adds that “no one could credibly argue” that Commissioner Roger Goodell generally is a neutral arbitrator in the case of ruling on claims that involve teams which pay him and given the NFL has already said the lawsuit is “without merit”.

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“If the court compels arbitration, scores of employers following this case, and those that learn of it, will undoubtedly change their arbitration clauses to allow the appointment of an obviously biased decision maker,” the transient said.

Flores, who’s Black, was fired by Miami in January after back-to-back seasons with winning records and sued the NFL and its teams in February alleging discrimination against Black candidates for top-level coaching and management jobs.

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Wilks and longtime assistant coach Horton joined as plaintiffs within the proposed class motion in April.

The case by Flores, who has been hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a senior defensive assistant and linebacker coach, has highlighted an absence of diversity within the coaching ranks of the NFL, which has long condemned racism.

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Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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