Brian Flores lands role on Steelers coaching staff amid NFL lawsuit

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Saturday that they have hired Brian Flores – the former Miami Dolphins head coach who filed a lawsuit against the NFL and several teams earlier this month over hiring practices racists – as the new defensive/linebacking assistant head coach.

Flores joins a coaching staff led by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, currently the NFL’s second-longest tenured head coach (behind Bill Belichick) and — after the Dolphins fired Flores and hired recent coaching by Lovie Smith by the Houston Texans – one of only two black coaches in the league.

“I’m thrilled to have Brian Flores join our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “Brian’s resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team.”

Earlier this month, Flores was passed over for several head coaching jobs despite leading the Dolphins to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 20 years. After text messages between Flores and Belichick suggested Brian Daboll was predestined as the next New York Giants coach — a job Flores had interviewed for — Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the Giants, Dolphins and Denver Broncos, saying the league “remains prevalent.” with racism, especially with respect to the hiring and retention of black coaches, coordinators and general managers.

“In some critical respects, the NFL is racially segregated and run much like a plantation,” the lawsuit said. “Its 32 owners – none of whom are black – profit substantially from the work of NFL players, 70% of whom are black. Owners watch games from the top of NFL stadiums in their luxury boxes, while their hand The majority black workforce puts their bodies on the line every Sunday, taking vicious beatings and suffering debilitating body and brain injuries as the NFL and its owners rake in billions of dollars.

In an interview with rolling stone which released the Super Bowl on Sunday, Flores and current NFL players like Marcedes Lewis and Kahlil McKenzie offered suggestions on how to improve the NFL’s diversity issue both in the front office and on the sidelines.

“The first thing, the first, is black ownership,” insists Flores. “We need to have a seat at the owner’s table…there are no black voices in these meetings.”

Regarding hiring practices, Flores noted, “Right now, the owners are saying, ‘Hey, I want this guy’…there’s really no rhyme or reason. Nobody looks at the different interviews to determine if one guy interviewed better than the others. It really boils down to ‘I’m the most comfortable with this coach, so he’s the one we’re going to hire.’

In a league-wide memo following Flores’ lawsuit, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell acknowledged that despite the league’s efforts to promote diversity and hire black head coaches – like Rooney’s ineffective rule – “the results were unacceptable”.

“Racism and any form of discrimination are against the values ​​of the NFL,” Goodell wrote. “We have made considerable efforts to promote diversity and adopted many policies and programs which have produced positive changes in many areas, but we must recognize that, particularly with regard to head coaches, the results have been unacceptable. We will reassess and review all diversity, equity and inclusion policies, guidelines and initiatives, including as they relate to gender.