New York, NY – The leaders of the country’s top civil rights organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting a meeting to discuss a lack of diversity in the NFL.
This request arises in the wake of a class-action lawsuit filed this week against the NFL and its 32 teams by former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, citing racial discrimination. Allegedly fired by the Dolphins for refusing to purposely lose games in exchange for $100,000 bonuses, Flores claims he then participated in sham interviews with other teams who sought only to comply with the NFL’s Rooney rule, which requires two minority candidates to be interviewed for vacant head-coaching positions.
The letter is below.
Dear Mr. Goodell:
We request an immediate meeting with you to discuss the continued lack of diversity among the ownership and coaching in the National Football League. Despite continued efforts and commitments, we are still sitting here today with 32 teams, not one Black owner and only one Black coach.
This is an outrage at best, and requires your immediate attention.
In light of the recent lawsuit filed by Brian Flores, it has brought this attention back to the forefront of our community, and it is important that you have an immediate open dialogue with Civil Rights leadership. We are being asked to do everything within our power, including direct action at next week’s Super Bowl, as well as appealing to local municipalities that underwrite and give special considerations to stadiums to pressure the NFL and its owners to get more serious about enforcing the ruling law.
Time is of essence, and we hope to meet with you within hours, not days.
- Rev. Al Sharpton President, National Action Network
- Marc Morial President, National Urban League
- Barbara Skinner Co-convener, National African American Clergy Network
- Derrick Johnson President and CEO, NAACP
- Melanie Campbell President, Black Women’s Roundtable