Race-related lawsuit could shake the NFL

Written by ECA Review

OK, so we have a new Super Bowl champion. The National Football League offers up a new champ every year. But does the league ever have a day like it did Feb. 1 when two major off-field events shook the league?

Like him or loathe him, Tom Brady officially announced his retirement from the game at the age of 44 and not a single soul could argue that, yes indeed, he is the GOAT — the greatest of all time. 

But on that same day, a lawsuit against the NFL and four of its teams was filed by Brian Flores, the Black coach who was fired by Miami Dolphins in January, alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices and various other misdeeds.

The Brady deal will fade away as fans nod their heads in agreement that no one comes close  — and likely never will — to the amazing statistics the 44-year-old piled up over 22 seasons … seven Super Bowl titles, most passing yards, most touchdown passes, most completions, most everything. 

But the Flores lawsuit, which also included an allegation that Miami owner Stephen Ross offered Flores $100,000 for every loss in 2019 in an effort to ‘tank’ his way to the first draft pick, is certain to have longer-lasting reverberations.

In an effort to make it look as if the league and its teams are all-inclusive when it comes to hiring practices, the NFL has something called the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one or more minority candidates for head coach openings. 

Flores, expected to be in big demand after two winning seasons in his three years at Miami, was stunned to learn through a misdirected text from New England coach Bill Belichick, that the New York Giants had agreed to hire Brian Daboll as coach a full three days before they were scheduled to conduct their obligatory (and sham) interview with Flores.

At last count, the NFL had one Black coach, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, and the Black segment of the NFL rightfully suggests that number should be higher considering about 70 per cent of the players are minorities.

The NFL’s official statement relating to the lawsuit said, of course, that it is “deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices.” 

Its argument may hold some water in that eight general managers are Black, which lends credence to the ‘equitable employment’ argument. 

Flores, however, was the victim of the weakness of the Rooney Rule and while his actions may have guaranteed an immediate end to his NFL coaching career, his suit may result in a Jackie Robinson moment for the NFL.

Slap shots

• Headline at the onion.com: “MLB Owners Propose CBA That Offers Players College Credit In Lieu Of Salary”

• Late night ABC comic Jimmy Kimmel, on Tom Brady’s retirement: “Now the big question for the Buccaneers is what do they do with Gronk? Just release him into the Everglades?”
•   Bears Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, via Twitter: “I think it’s great Giselle let Tom Brady retire. Hopefully she’ll let him keep Rob Gronkowski in the yard.”

• From a reader, reprinted in Phil Mushnick’s column in the New York Post: “Say what you will about Australian tennis, but they sure know how to return a Serb.”

• Blogger Patti Dawn Swansson, on effort, or lack thereof, of Jets’ Mark Scheifele: “Too often Scheifele plays with the get-up-and-go of a guy sitting in an ice fishing hut at Lockport.”

• Columnist Norman Chad, on Twitter: “ESPN announces it will use all-women broadcast team and production crew for Warriors-Jazz game on Feb. 9. Meanwhile, in Bristol that day, male ESPN employees will be left to harass themselves.”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “Go$h, I wonder why the IOC picked $uch a $nowless, autocratic, human-right$-violating place a$ Beijing for the Winter Olympic$?”

• Another one from Kaseberg: “The Bengals’ Joe Burrow is looking to be the third QB to win the National Championship and a Super Bowl. The other two are Joe Namath and Joe Montana. This just in, Matt Stafford changed his name to Joe Stafford.”

• Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Critics say Major League Baseball has devolved into too many strikeouts and too little action. But enough about the bargaining sessions.”

• Kaseberg again, on Tom Brady’s retirement: “But wait, don’t you have to rip off your shirt and dance in the end zone in front of the crowd to retire from the Bucs?”

• Headline at fark.com, on the Pro Bowl: “Should the NFL discontinue a yearly event the players don’t want to play in and fans don’t want to watch?”

• Headline at theonion.com: “Frank Vogel Waiting For LeBron To Nod Before Drawing Next Line On White Board”
•   Ric Meyer, via Twitter, on Super Bowl LVI: “I heard that there will be a football game at the Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop and Mary J. Blige concert.”

Care to comment? Email brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca.

 

by Bruce Penton

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