NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two more coaches have joined former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’s class action lawsuit alleging discrimination against Black candidates for top-level coaching and management jobs in the National Football League (NFL), according to an amended complaint filed on Thursday.
Flores, who is Black, was fired as head coach of the Dolphins in January after back-to-back seasons with winning records. In February he filed his complaint in Manhattan federal court, accusing the NFL and its 32 teams of racial discrimination.
The league has previously said Flores’s case lacks merit and the Dolphins sought arbitration. Flores is now senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the amended complaint, two new plaintiffs – former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks and league veteran Ray Horton – were included.
The complaint said Wilks was not given any “meaningful chance to succeed” in his role with the Cardinals, which he held for the 2018 season, before being “unfairly and discriminatorily fired” in December.
Horton was a defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans before interviewing for the head coach job in January, 2016. In the complaint, Horton said the interview was a “sham” conducted to comply with the “Rooney Rule”, which stipulates minority candidates must be considered for top coaching and staff jobs.
The NFL declined to comment on the two plaintiffs added.
The Cardinals and the Titans did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Flores has also accused Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of offering him $100,000 for each loss in 2019 as incentive to help secure a high draft pick. Flores said he refused to comply.
The Denver Broncos and the New York Giants were also named in Flores’s lawsuit, which says the two teams conducted sham interviews with him to satisfy the Rooney Rule.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Ed Osmond)