Steve Wilkes, Ray Horton join Brian Flores’ suit as Mike Mularchy admits Titans interview was a sham – The Mercury News

NFL coaches Steve Wilkes and Ray Horton on Thursday leveled allegations of discriminatory hiring practices against the Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans as co-plaintiffs in a revised complaint by coach Brian Flores in U.S. District Court.

Horton, 61, the Titans’ defensive coordinator in 2014–15, alleged that in January 2016 he was subjected to a “sham” interview for a Tennessee head coaching vacancy in order to satisfy the Rooney Rule.

The lawsuit quotes Mike Mularchy, the white coach who came on the job, Getting Accepted in a Vague Podcast Interviews from 2020 suggest that the Titans bypassed the NFL’s rule requiring minority candidates to be interviewed during a “fake recruitment process.”

Titans”[t]Old me I was going to be head coach in 2016 before they went through the Rooney rule,” quotes Mularkey in the lawsuit podcast. “And so I sat there knowing that I was the head coach in 2016, because they went through this fake hiring process knowing they were interviewing a lot of coaches, knowing that they were going through those interviews. How ready they were to leave, knowing that there was everything they could do and that they had no chance of getting that job.

“And actually, GM John Robinson, he was in an interview with me. He didn’t know why he was interviewing me, that I already had a job,” Mularkey continued. “I regret it, [be]Because I am first and foremost proud of myself and my kids that I did the right thing and that’s what I always told the players. And here I am, the main guy not doing it, and I’ve regretted it ever since. It was wrong to do I’m sorry I did that, but this was not the way to do it. Should have been interviewed and hired like everyone else [be]The reason for the interview is not early.”

Horton said in a statement through Vigdor LLP law firm that he is “proud to combat the systemic discrimination with Coach Flores and Coach Wilkes that has plagued the NFL for far too long.

“I was devastated and humiliated when I learned from Coach Mularkee’s statements that my head coach interview with the Titans was a sham,” Horton said. “By joining this case, I look forward to turning that experience into a positive one and making lasting change and creating the right equal opportunities in the future.”

Wilkes, 52, was fired by the Cardinals in 2018 after only one season as head coach, alleging he was hired as a “bridge coach” and not given a meaningful chance to succeed.

The revised complaint describes how Cardinals GM Steve Keem, who is white, has kept his job and received a contract extension despite poor personnel decisions and a DUI conviction.

It also states that Wilkes was replaced by a white coach, Cliff Kingsbury, who had no prior NFL coach experience. And it alleges that Wilkes solicited trades from Kim and select quarterback Josh Allen during the 2018 NFL Draft.

Instead, Keam drafted quarterback Josh Rosen, whom Sue calls “one of the great draftsmen of all time.” Wilkes was fired after that one season. Kim was allowed to remain and select quarterback Kyler Murray No. 1 overall the following year.

“When Coach Flores recorded this action, I knew what I owed to me and all Black NFL coaches and aspiring coaches,” Wilkes said in a statement. “Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to be employed and remain employed as white coaches and candidates. That is not the case at the moment.”

Flores’ lawsuit now highlights the NFL and six specific franchises: The Giants, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Cardinals and Titans.

The revised complaint notes the existence of more evidence of Flores’ tanking allegations against the Dolphins.

The complaint references a memo dated December 4, 2019, which Flores wrote to recall owner Stephen Ross’s alleged desire to lose the game in Miami and that GM Chris Grier, CEO Tom Garfinkel and Senior VP Brandon Shore was sent in.

“I continue to be humbled by the endorsement of the NFL with respect to their claims against the NFL and commend Steve Wilkes and Ray Horton for taking a stand against systemic race discrimination,” Flores said in a statement. “Their claims are the unfortunate reality of the problems facing Black coaches in the NFL, which in this case our collective hope is to end once and for all.”

The new version of Flores’ lawsuit also calls the NFL’s new “Diversity Advisory Committee” a blank gesture by the NFL that “in no way demonstrates a true commitment to change, oversight, and accountability.”

Experts worry that the NFL will be able to use language in Flores’ Dolphins contract to defend the disclosure of this lawsuit in closed arbitration. It is also difficult to prove a general damages in a class action filing. The testimonials from Wilkes and Horton, however, are undoubtedly worthwhile in furthering Flores’ cause.


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