The NFL announced this week that they’ve hired former Attorney General Loretta Lynch as representation in the Brian Flores racial discrimination lawsuit, a move some suspect is itself racially motivated.
Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, filed the class-action lawsuit against the NFL, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins on the basis of racial discrimination. Market Watch reported that the suit may add the Houston Texans as well.
The suit alleges in part that Flores had only been interviewed for positions with the varied teams to meet a racial quota as set forth by the “Rooney Rule,” a policy adopted by the NFL in 2003 that requires minorities be interviewed whenever a coaching position is available.
In response to the suit, the NFL has hired Lynch, the first black female attorney general who served during the Obama Administration. Lynch is a partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a firm that has represented the NFL in the past, and will be working on the case with their chairman Brad Karp.
Despite the previous ties to the firm, some believe that the move by the NFL is purely for optics. In an USA Today op-ed, titled “NFL’s hiring of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch is insidious PR move,” Mike Freeman wrote that he views the move as proof, “the NFL is nervous and it sees a huge fight ahead.”
“The NFL likely envisions Black coaches telling stories of being passed over and discriminated against. It could get ugly,” Freeman suggested. “And what better way to protect itself, the league thinks, than present a Black face to counter ugly narratives of racism.”
Freeman admits that Lynch is a “highly qualified lawyer” but goes on to say that this move offers the NFL the opportunity to “be outraged, absolutely outraged” if anyone suggests, “they hired a Black face to help defend against Flores’ suit.”
Jason Whitlock, host of “Fearless with Jason Whitlock” on BlazeTV, called the hiring “Colin Kaepernick 2.0.”
Roger Goodell and the NFL chose the wrong lawyer for the Brian Flores case. Loretta Lynch is a political operative, not a defender of football. Joe Lockhart 2.0. pic.twitter.com/lYsk4FprFx
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) February 17, 2022
While speaking with guest Steve Kim, Whitlock called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “inept” for bringing in Joe Lockhart to handle the media relations regarding Kaepernick. Whitlock pointed out that Lockhart, like Lynch, was connected to the Clinton administration and that he would likely make similar mistakes based on what was “whispered” in his ear.
Whitlock further went on to suggest that the NFL could have selected any number of attorneys who used to be players for the league instead of the “political operative” Lynch.
Kim responded that Whitlock might be on to something stating, “You don’t know if this is a Trojan horse…and in terms of playing to the optics,” he added of the parties involved, “they went a little bit too far there,” by hiring Lynch.
Following the announcement that Lynch was representing the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they had hired Flores to join their coaching staff.
We have named Brian Flores as our senior defensive assistant/linebackers.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 19, 2022
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