More Black Coaches Join Discrimination Lawsuit Against The NFL

By Brooks Welch

Former coach of the Cardinals Steve Wilks and NFL assistant coach Ray Horton have joined Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores in lawsuit that accuses the league and its teams of discrimination.

As reported by NBC Sports, the allegations made by Wilks included how the Cardinals hired him as a “bridge coach” without giving him a meaningful chance to succeed. Wilks points out that he had to operate without a General Manager “during a critical time of the preseason” and Wilks was “stuck with an unready rookie quarterback drafted by [Keim] contrary to Mr. Wilks’ suggestion,” among many others.

The Star Tribune reported that Horton was subjected to discriminatory treatment when he was given a fake interview for the Tennessee Titans head coach position in January 2016. Horton said he was “devastated and humiliated.”

In 2020, the NFL introduced the “Rooney Rule” to stipulate teams must interview at least two minority candidates not associated with their team for a head coaching vacancy and one minority candidate for coordinator positions and high-ranking front office positions, including general manager. However, much progress hasn’t been made.

“When Coach Flores filed this action, I knew I owed it to myself, and to all Black NFL coaches and aspiring coaches, to stand with him,” Wilks said. “This lawsuit has shed further important light on a problem that we all know exists, but that too few are willing to confront. Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to become employed, and remain employed, as white coaches and candidates.”