Accused of encouraging systemic discrimination, the NFL, through its commissioner Roger Goodell, continues its lawsuit against three black coaches Brian Flores, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton.
Lawyers for three black NFL coaches alleging racial bias on the league’s part took direct aim at commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday in their latest charges against arbitration of a dispute they say is up to a jury.
In documents filed in federal court in Manhattan, the attorneys wrote that arbitration would allow “unreasonable unilateral kangaroo courts” to decide the outcome of the lawsuit filed in February by Brian Flores, who was fired in January as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He is now an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Two other coaches – Steve Wilks and Ray Horton – later joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs.
Their attorneys said Goodell, who would lead the arbitration if the case was not decided by a jury, could not be objective in overseeing and deciding the dispute over whether the league was engaging in discrimination. hiring system. They included articles about Goodell’s salary and other personal details in their submission.
They cited the hundreds of millions of dollars he earns from teams, his public statement that the lawsuit is without merit, and the likelihood that he could be a witness in the case.
In June, lawyers for the NFL and six of its teams said arbitration was necessary because the coaches had agreed to multiple arbitration provisions in their contracts. “who fully cover their claims”. They also said coaches should go to arbitration individually rather than as a group.
Let Goodell preside over the matter “would deviate from established authority and societal norms” and would create a new officiating standard that would allow it to be approved “no matter how biased and unfair the process is”the coaches’ attorneys said in their final plea.
And they added that “would encourage employers to create manifestly unfair arbitrations with the assurance that they will be approved by the courts”.
“If the Court mandates arbitration, dozens of employers following this case, and those who become aware of it, will no doubt amend their arbitration clauses to allow for the appointment of a manifestly biased adjudicator”the lawyers said.
Several weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni denied a request from attorneys asking coaches to gather additional evidence before deciding whether the case should go to arbitration.
The move made it more likely that she would rule on the arbitration issue in weeks rather than months.