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Goodell calls NFL’s progress on diversity ‘unacceptable’

(TND) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told teams the league’s effort to increase diversity among head coaches is “unacceptable.”

The memo sent to team executives comes after former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and every team alleging racist hiring practices.

“We have made significant efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs which have produced positive change in many areas, however we must acknowledge that particularly with respect to head coaches the results have been unacceptable,” Goodell said in the memo. “We will reevaluate and examine all policies, guidelines and initiatives relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, including as they relate to gender.”

The league has called Flores’ lawsuit “meritless,” but Goodell directly addressed some of its concerns.

“We understand the concerns expressed by Coach Flores and others this week,” Goodell wrote. “While the legal process moves forward, we will not wait to reassess and modify our strategies to ensure that they are consistent with our values and longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

In a statement, Flores’ attorneys said while Goodell’s memo appears to be a positive first step in confronting systemic racism in the league, they “suspect that is it more of a public relations ploy than real commitment to change.”

Goodell also promised to independently investigate claims of teams intentionally losing games to improve their draft position.

“These matters will be reviewed thoroughly and independently. We expect that these independent experts will receive full cooperation from everyone associated with the league or any member club as this work proceeds,” the commissioner wrote.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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