As NFL pushes back on Brian Flores’ allegations, Roger Goodell cites failures

Goodell also addressed the ongoing problems with the Commanders and his hope that a ‘diverse owner’ will buy the Broncos.

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The NFL called Flores’ allegations “without merit,” but Goodell said Wednesday the league has failed to incorporate diversity.

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LOS ANGELES — The NFL has wandered into the curious position of rebutting coach Brian Flores’ allegations of racially discriminatory hiring practices by saying “diversity is core to everything we do,” but also saying its teams are failing to follow through on that aspiration.

So which is it?

Commissioner Roger Goodell tried to answer that Wednesday in his annual state-of-the-league press conference. There wasn’t much he could say to defend a league in which there are just five head coaches of color.

“We’re not doing a good enough job here,” Goodell said. “Let’s make sure that we’re looking at diversity and incentivizing that for everybody in our building... We’re not having the success we want with head coaches.”

The Rooney rule requires teams to interview outside candidates of color for coordinator, head coach and senior level positions in the front office. There has long been speculation that some candidates are asked to interview simply to satisfy the rule, but Flores shined a spotlight on it by suing the NFL, the Giants, the Dolphins and the Broncos last week.

Among other issues he raised, Flores alleged the Giants put him through a sham interview, the Broncos clearly did not take him seriously and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for every loss he suffered in an effort to tank during his first season coaching. The totality of the injustices he endured showed a pattern of racist practices in the NFL, Flores said in his suit.

He interviewed with several teams this offseason, including the Bears.

Goodell also said Wednesday the league will conduct an investigation into a sexual harassment claim against Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, he is pushing for a “diverse owner” to buy the Broncos and that the NFL will begin hosting games in Munich and Frankfort next season.

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