Can Brian Flores Win His Race Discrimination Lawsuit In opposition to the NFL?


On February 1, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit towards the NFL in federal district courtroom in Manhattan. Flores, who’s Black, claims that the NFL discriminated towards him and different minorities in hiring, retaining, and compensating head coaches and others in group management positions.

You cringe once you learn the statistics from his criticism:

  • Solely one of many NFL’s 32 groups employs a Black head coach
  • Solely 4 make use of a Black offensive coordinator
  • Solely 11 make use of a Black defensive coordinator
  • Solely eight make use of a Black particular groups coordinator
  • Solely three make use of a Black quarterback coach
  • Solely six make use of a Black basic supervisor
  • There aren’t any Black house owners of any NFL groups

Flores’ lawsuit seeks extra than simply cash. He additionally desires change. He particularly asks the decide to kind and fund a committee devoted to creating Black majority NFL group house owners and a coaching program for lower-level Black coaches.

So the query turns into: Can Flores win?

What Should Flores’ Case Show?

Let’s begin with the best way race discrimination instances work. It is a course of, so persist with us right here.

The ball begins in Coach Flores’ fingers. He has to allege — similar to any worker would in a race discrimination lawsuit — that:

  • He’s a member of a protected class (he’s)
  • He suffered hostile employment motion (he did)
  • He was certified or met reputable job expectations (he did)
  • A equally located worker outdoors of the protected class obtained higher therapy than he did (many did)

Let’s assume a courtroom finds Flores met his burden right here. Then it is the NFL’s flip. They’ve to supply a non-discriminatory purpose for the employment choices Coach Flores challenges. For instance, Flores was advised, based on his criticism, that he was fired as a result of he was exhausting to work with.

Then the ball goes again to the coach. He should present that the NFL’s causes are phony. To try this, Flores should show the intent of these within the NFL liable for making employment choices.

Proof of the NFL’s Intent — Direct v. Circumstantial

There are two methods to do that. The primary is thru direct proof, which instantly proves a reality. Really seeing somebody shoot another person is direct proof that they killed them.

The second means is thru circumstantial proof. You infer the actual fact by proof. For instance, seeing somebody holding a smoking gun subsequent to a physique is circumstantial proof that they killed them.

Flores would not allege that anybody advised him he wasn’t getting a job or that he received fired due to race. So there isn’t any direct proof, which means his case will depend on circumstantial proof. Proving intent primarily based on circumstantial proof is a problem. Courts will think about the proof as an entire and can look to particular items, resembling:

  • Statistics demonstrating a transparent sample of discrimination
  • The historic background of the NFL’s employment choices
  • The sequence of occasions main as much as these choices
  • Any departures from regular employment procedures
  • Any sample of actions by decision-makers displaying a lot better hurt on minorities than on whites

What Will Occur?

At this stage of the case, the main focus is on Flores’ criticism. And the allegations are unsettling. Flores alleges the statistics we level out above and rather more. There are allegations of bribery, tampering, and a touch of drunken debauchery thrown in. However is it sufficient to indicate intentional racial discrimination?

The NFL nonetheless wants to reply to the criticism in courtroom. Relatively than providing their very own aspect of the story, they might ask that the decide dismiss the case outright. Then it is as much as the decide to determine whether or not the allegations are sufficient to maintain the case alive for now.

You Don’t Have To Clear up This on Your Personal – Get a Lawyer’s Assist

Assembly with a lawyer may help you perceive your choices and find out how to greatest shield your rights. Go to our lawyer listing to discover a lawyer close to you who may help.


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