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Earlier this week, Brian Flores filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and three teams -- Dolphins, Giants and Broncos. Flores was fired by the Dolphins after the 2021 season, despite having back-to-back winning seasons in Miami.
Flores claims that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for every game he tanked to better Miami’s draft position. Flores also accused the Giants of foul hiring practices and claims that the Giants interviewed him when they had already decided that Brian Daboll would be their next head coach. Flores says his interview with the Broncos in 2019 was a sham, as well. He also said John Elway was "hungover" and "disinterested" during the interview. Ross, Elway, the Giants and the NFL all vehemently denied Flores' claims.
The NFL has a major problem on their hands, as the Rooney Rule is clearly not working. Of the nine vacant head coaching positions this year, five of the head coaches who have been hired are all white. Mike Tomlin is currently the only Black head coach in the NFL. There are only two other minority head coaches -- Ron Rivera in Washington, who is Hispanic, and Robert Saleh of the Jets, who is Middle Eastern and the first Muslim head coach in league history.
Nearly 70 percent of the players in the NFL are Black, but there's just one Black head coach right now. Stephen A. Smith thinks the issue falls on the billionaire owners, who are all white except for Jaguars owner Shan Khan, as he's from Pakistan.
Smith thinks without a doubt that if Tomlin wasn't employed by the Rooneys, Tomlin wouldn't be heading into his 16th season as the Steelers head coach. The Rooney Rule was named after Dan Rooney in 2003.
"If he were in any place other than Pittsburgh, would Mike Tomlin be a head coach in the NFL right now? He would have been fired. Mike Tomlin would have been gone," Smith said. "Because he's been on the hot seat before and he had no business being on the hot seat. But he's been on there"
Smith mentioned Tomlin's 15th consecutive non-losing seasons to start his career, which is an NFL record. He also said that Tomlin's a future Hall of Famer.
Minus Khan, Smith thinks the 31 white owners appear to not have an issue with the lack of minorities as head coaches in the NFL. Smith thinks the owners look at it as a "league problem" and not "their problem."
"All of the (owners) need to be brought in a room and literally shown and reminded of this situation, and how egregious it is," Smith said. And collectively, this is our mission as a league. What are you going to do about it?"
Smith thinks players need to speak up as well to the lack of minority head coaches in the NFL. Especially white players.