U.S. District Judge Advances Flores’ Lawsuit; Includes NY Giants
Big news came out of a U.S. District Court on Wednesday, one that will rattle more than a few teams and the NFL. A judge ruled that former Miami Dolphins head coach and current Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator, Brian Flores can continue to pursue his discrimination cases against several NFL teams and the league.
U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni ruled that Flores can advance his cases to a federal court that will be heard by a jury. As reported by Pat Leonard of nydailynews.com, in the written ruling, Judge Caproni wrote, "Plaintiffs’ descriptions of their experiences of racial discrimination, which allegedly are only the most recent chapter in the NFL’s long history of systematic discrimination toward Black players, coaches, and managers are incredibly troubling.”
An attorney for Brian Flores, John Elefterakis, said in a statement, “Today the court determined that the claims against the NFL can remain in Federal Court where we can conduct discovery and litigate in a transparent forum. We look forward to continuing to fight systemic discrimination against Black coaches in the NFL.” According to Leonard, the court did rule that some of the claims that were attached to this case have to go to arbitration before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The plaintiff attorneys were upset with that outcome.
Plaintiffs attorney Douglas H. Wigdor took the opportunity to blast the NFL Commissioner, as he wrote in their statement, "We are disappointed the court compelled arbitration of any claims before Mr. Goodell as he is obviously biased and unqualified to rule on these matters. We expect him to delegate those matters to a truly neutral arbitrator as a matter of fundamental fairness. We look forward to pursuing all these claims to trial in their various forums.”
How this effects the Giants will be interesting. From the information that has been released, regarding their hiring of Brian Daboll, Flores claims against Big Blue may not be as significant as the claims against other teams and the NFL. However, it should be noted, the judge ruled the case against New York to move forward. Heavy fines, possible lost draft picks and public backlash could be on the line. This will be an interesting case to watch.