Two black coaches joined Brian Flores on Thursday in his lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices in the NFL when it comes to filling job openings at quarterbacks and general managers.
The updated lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan now includes coaches Steve Wilks and Ray Horton as plaintiffs.
According to the lawsuit, Wilks was discriminated against by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, when he was hired as a “bridge coach” without receiving a meaningful opportunity to succeed.
For his part, Horton would have suffered discriminatory treatment in January 2016, when the Tennessee Titans interviewed him as a candidate for head coach but with no real intentions of hiring him, the complaint indicates.
Flores also criticized the NFL in writing in the amended complaint for its response to the original lawsuit he filed against his teams weeks ago.
The lawsuit added the Houston Texans to the list of teams that allegedly discriminated against Flores, who said the team engaged in “blatant retaliation” by not considering him for their vacant head coaching job after he sued the league.
In a statement from the league’s attorneys, Wilks said he hoped the lawsuit would help bring racial equity to the league. Arizona replaced Wilks with Kiff Kingsbury, a white candidate with no NFL coaching experience.
The team also extended the contract of the general manager, also white, despite the fact that he was found guilty of drunk driving.
“When Coach Flores presented this appeal I knew I had to stand with him, as a debt to myself and to all Black coaches and hopefuls in the NFL,” Wilks said. “This lawsuit has shed important light on a problem that we all know exists, but that very few are willing to tackle.
“Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to get and keep a job as whites.”
Horton said he was “devastated and humiliated” when he learned that his interview with the Titans had been a mere simulation.
“By joining this case, I hope to turn that experience into something positive, bring about lasting change and create real equitable opportunities in the future,” he emphasized.
The NFL declined to comment Thursday.
Flores sued the NFL and three other teams on Feb. 1, a month after he was fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, a team with whom he went 24-25 over three years.
The Dolphins went 9-8 last year, posting their second straight winning season. However, they did not advance to the playoffs during the administration of Flores, who is of Honduran descent.