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NFL Announces Creation of New ‘Diversity Advisory Committee’ Amid Brian Flores’s Lawsuit

Less than two months after former Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three franchises alleging discrimination in league hiring practices, commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office announced the creation of a new “Diversity Advisory Committee.”

In an official release on Monday, the NFL revealed that it has established a six-person committee of outside experts that will “evaluate league and club diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and initiatives,” which includes hiring processes with a focus on senior-level coach and front office positions. The group’s members will then provide “comprehensive recommendations to league office and club ownership for consideration.”

“We’ve worked for years and made progress in many areas to ensure that staff and leaders in our office and at our clubs reflect the racial and gender makeup of America, but we have more work to do, particularly at the head coach and front-office level,” Goodell said in a statement Monday. “This esteemed group’s work will help us build a more inclusive league. We look forward to their recommendations – and to continuing our conversations with other outside experts, community and vicil rights leaders, Fritz Pollard Alliance and current and former players and coaches – to make our efforts and those of the clubs more effective so that real and tangible results will be achieved.” 

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The six-person committee is made up of individuals from the academic, legal, football and corporate worlds. Members include former Texans general manager Rick Smith, Springboard founder and president Pamela Carlton, former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila managing partner Patricia Brown Holmes, University of Colorado Boulder associate professor Stefanie K. Johnson and Cleveland Avenue, LLC CEO and founder Don Thompson.

The formation of the NFL’s newest committee comes after Flores filed a ground-breaking lawsuit seeking class action status on Feb. 1. After vehemently denying the claims made by Flores, the league announced that it will start the process of reviewing its current diversity and inclusion policies.

Flores’s lawsuit against the league, Dolphins, Giants and Broncos remains unresolved at this time. The ex-Miami coach has since been hired been by the Steelers as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.

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