(Reuters) – A discrimination case brought by three black coaches accusing the National Football League of racist employment should be resolved in a closed arbitration rather than in open court, the league said in court papers late Tuesday.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and two other coaches sued the league and its 32 teams in February, claiming the team conducted “mock interviews” with black candidates to pursue a policy that requires minorities to be considered, and that black coaches get paid less. than their white counterparts.
The NFL has denied the allegations, saying its team was committed to ensuring fair employment practices. In his application to the Manhattan Federal Court, the league asked District Judge Valerie Caproni to order that the case be sent to arbitration in accordance with the coaches̵7; employment contracts and NFL bylaws.
“The difference clauses in Mr. Flore’s employment contract … clearly cover his claim against the Dolphins,” NFL attorneys wrote.
David Gottlieb, a lawyer for Mr. Flores said the case should not be sent to arbitration because the appointed mediator, league commissioner Roger Goodell, was biased in favor of the law that employs him.
“We continue to be disappointed with the NFL’s insistence that this case be moved behind closed doors and out of the public eye,” Gottlieb said.
Mr Flores has said that the process must be “in the open” to stimulate change.
Loretta Lynch, a former US Attorney who now represents the NFL, has said the league considers its arbitration process “neutral”.
Mr Flores and the other coaches have one month to respond to the league’s exercise. The NFL will then have until August 5 to present further arguments before referee Caproni decides whether the case should be sent to arbitration.