In resisting settlement talks in Flores litigation, NFL retreats to its belief that the case is “without merit”

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The NFL initially declared that the Brian Flores case is “without merit.” But then the NFL seemed to acknowledge that there were merit to the claims. More recently, the NFL has reverted to its “without merit” mantra.

Via Daniel Wallach of, the judge presiding over the litigation invited the parties to participate in a settlement conference on Monday. The lawyers representing Brian Flores accepted. The NFL declined.

It’s no surprise. In a joint letter sent by the lawyers to the presiding judge on April 21, the two sides commented on the prospect of settlement. The lawyers representing Flores and his fellow plaintiffs explained that they have “proposed mediation before and with the assistance of a neutral third party, including retired federal judgments and respected members of the legal and civil rights community,” and that the plaintiffs expressed a desire during the mediation “to discuss meaningful measures the NFL can take to address what the NFL has admitted is a ‘double standard’ for Black coaches and executives and what the NFL has admitted is an ‘unacceptable’ under-representation of persons of color in such positions.”

The league’s response in the April 21 letter went like this: “Defendants are engaged in ongoing efforts to improve diversity among coaches and staff, and would welcome the involvement of Plaintiffs and other Black coaches and executives in those efforts. However, Defendants believe that the claims asserted in this lawsuit are without merit as a matter of law, and intend to vigorously defend against them.”

So the league is back on the record with the same words it used as a knee-jerk reaction when the lawsuit was filed. The claims, according to the NFL, as “without merit.”

It’s no surprise. As long as the league can potentially force the case into its secret rigged kangaroo court, of course it believes the claims are without merit. If the NFL eventually prevails in its motion to compel arbitration, the end result most likely will be a full and complete win. In more ways than one. Beyond engineering the desired outcome, the arbitration process will keep things away from the prying eyes and ears of those who might scrutinize the facts developed and arguments made.

22 responses to “In resisting settlement talks in Flores litigation, NFL retreats to its belief that the case is “without merit”

  1. I think Flores & co. just overreached. The more random accusations he piled on, the more ridiculous and less credible he sounds.

    First it was payment for tanking, then it was unfair that he was fired, then it was unfair that he didn’t get a previous gig, then it was unfair that he didn’t get the Giants gig, then it was unfair what conditions he had to work with while coaching.

    Everything apart from the payment for tanking is something that almost every coach, white or black, deals with on a regular basis. By trying to turn that into something unfair because of his ethnicity, then tying that to statistical under-representation, the result is just a kitchen-sink mess.

    It’s pretty clear they were counting on the courts of public opinion and media to push the league into some kind of settlement. The league has decided to create other incentives for hiring and not acknowledge what Flores is accusing them of. He’s asking them to admit to systemic racism, which isn’t going to happen. He’s moved things forward but his overreach means he’s likely not going to personally benefit from it.

  2. Fact 1: Owners want to win. Fact 2: Owners employ coaches and players that are a mix of races.
    With those two facts being true, the premise that an owner would fire a winning coach based on race is without merit.

  3. Lawyers on both sides try to set their clients up for the best possible outcome. That is what both parties are paying for. Maybe the coaches need a union. Then again, the players have a union and the league appointees settle their disputes.

  4. In other words the claims were unsubstantiated. For both Jackson and Flores.
    I think the best course of action is to in the future get these owners who want to throw games on tape. Coaches need to secretly tape their private conversations with owners to protect themselves.

  5. Brian Flores employment with the Miami Dolphins was terminated due to sub par performance as head coach.

  6. Another wasted investigation that led to nothing. Flores claim has zero merit. Especially after working there for 2 additional seasons after the alleged incident and accusations.

  7. NFL just cannot be trusted. Ultra rich people don’t like to be told by lesser folks.

  8. It’s all about the money. Always is. Everyone is looking for an excuse to sue. There are no principles at stake. It’s just a play for cash.

  9. Both sides had plenty of lawyers that agreed to settle disputes in arbitration.

  10. Without merit? No, I dont think it is without merit. I would describe it more as “without evidence”. We know this is an issue. But Flores just doesnt have the juice on this one.

  11. There is nothing contradictory in the League’s statements. You can feel that there are always ways to improve processes without having done anything illegal. It is important for the league to have these meritless claims dismissed, especially if no wrong doing has been done.

    And let’s face it, if Flores true concern was to solely improve opportunities for minorities, his first move wouldn’t have been to attempt sue the league.

  12. So…Flores is the only one interested in a settlement. I thought he wanted to bring this stuff out into the light. Maybe enough money would be able to keep his mouth shut

  13. Well Flores said he had a witness out loud,he hasn’t produced one and by now the NFL has interviewed everyone that could have been that witness and found nothing compelling. The truth is it makes no sense for Ross to offer him money to lose. Miami started that season 0 and 5 before playing better ball. Ross could have easily just traded more players before the trade deadline to keep losing. And at o and 5 it would have been justified.

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