The racial discrimination suit issued to the NFL by Brian Flores is getting more serious.
The league has hired former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend the organization in the lawsuit. Lynch became the first Black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general during the Barack Obama administration.
She will serve as counsel on the case in conjunction with Brad Karp, the chair of the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Lynch is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office.
I don’t doubt that the NFL pulled up the Brinks truck to Loretta Lynch’s house, but Jesus. What happened to integrity? pic.twitter.com/J9D1hqXuQ0
— Ronse. (@Ronse325) February 17, 2022
Guess Who’s Back
“The league retained the Paul Weiss firm to represent the league and named clubs,” McCarthy said in a statement to the media.
Before joining the private sector, Lynch ran the Department of Justice under the Obama administration for two years.
However, it is not her first stint working with the NFL.
In 2020, the NFL tapped the former attorney general to work on an inquiry into claims of workplace misconduct involving the then-Washington Football Team.
The NFL can't hire Black head coaches, but they can hire former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend them in the race discrimination case filed by Brian Flores. pic.twitter.com/rkuFXPHOlW
— First and Pen (@firstandpen) February 16, 2022
The NFL utilized Lynch to arbitrate a feud between the team’s principal owner, Dan Snyder, and its minority owners, one of which was real estate developer Dwight Schar, the board chairman of NVR Inc.
Lynch focused her investigations on an alleged attempt by Schar to distribute information to defame Snyder publicly.
In the end, the NFL made Washington pay $10 million, which was given to organizations “committed to character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships, and related topics.”
The NFL to Loretta Lynch: Sic ‘em
Loretta Lynch: pic.twitter.com/OfDiOgkYtO
— Maxwell Little 🇺🇸 (@MaxHPF) February 17, 2022
Lynch’s firm is responsible for 25 percent of all cases involving the league in federal courts. The firm has also handled the NFL’s concussion and benefits litigation.
However, should Lynch have taken the case? Will her defense be that the Rooney Rule is good enough as is?
The Rooney Rule is an NFL policy requiring every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidates.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores launched his racial discrimination suit at the beginning of Black History Month. In addition to the NFL, he has also named the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins as defendants in the case.
This hire shows just how serious this is for the @NFL … the level of strategy to pay Loretta Lynch to join them against Flores is next level. The optics show a divide and conquer like tactic. I wish Lynch would have publicly refused to take the case.
— Y O W (@YardofWar) February 16, 2022
Earlier this month, Flores filed a 58-page class-action lawsuit against the NFL and the three teams for alleged racial discrimination.
Flores has a plethora of coaching experience at the top levels and has been on teams like the New England Patriots during his career. The Brownsville, Brooklyn, native was fired as the Dolphins’ head coach in early January after three years.
However, Flores signed a five-year contract with the team and finished with a winning season. However, Flores believes that race was the factor in the center of his firing from the Dolphins and outlines how it is a systemic problem that he says is endemic in the NFL.
The NFL Plan
The NFL’s official first response to Flores’ allegations was a statement to the media that said it will defend “against these claims, which are without merit.”
“The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations,” the NFL said.
Flores outlined what he called a “sham” interview with the New York Giants that he discovered from a mistaken text from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. He also described a hungover Denver Broncos meeting where he felt the interview was to satisfy the Rooney Rule.
More news from our partners: