Brian Flores and his legal team are pushing back against the NFL’s attempt to move his lawsuit out of the court system and into private arbitration. In a statement released a short time ago, Flores called out the Miami Dolphins and their lawyers for reportedly pressuring commissioner Roger Goodell to try and move the case to arbitration.
Here is Flores’ full statement.
“Unfortunately, the Dolphins and their attorneys…are trying to push the claims against the Dolphins into secret arbitration proceedings that lack transparency,” the statement in part reads.
Flores is suing the Dolphins, the NFL, Broncos, and Giants over allegations of racial discrimination along with Flores’ claim that Miami owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 per every game lost in 2019. The Dolphins, Broncos, and Giants have denied all allegations.
Pro Football Talk noted this could be the leagues/teams’ defense back in February, attempting to cite clauses that compel both sides to use arbitration rather than the legal system. If that occurs, documents and a resolution won’t be made public unless agreed to by both parties (which almost certainly would not happen), allowing the league to keep any further evidence under wraps. Keeping the lawsuit public means the discovery phase of the trial could mean uncovering new claims and evidence of either Flores claim or other information entirely that could damage the league’s or team’s reputation.
It’s unclear if the owners will win its fight or if Flores will keep this lawsuit in the courts. But Flores is clearly trying to use public pressure while the NFL would like this suit to be dealt with behind closed doors.
Flores was hired to to be the Steelers’ defensive assistant/linebackers coach last month. He is expected to primarily work with the outside linebackers. Pittsburgh’s organization has said little about the Flores’ suit, repeatedly pivoting towards their focus on Flores as a coach.