NFL Announces New Diversity Commission Amid Discrimination Lawsuit


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The NFL announced Monday (March 28) that it has established a Diversity Advisory Committee. According to an announcement shared on Twitter, the committee will "review existing diversity and hiring policies, provide recommendations." The creation of the committee comes amid a landmark discrimination lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

"Today, the National Football League (NFL) announced the creation of the NFL Diversity Advisory Committee, following its pledge last month to retain outside experts to review the league's diversity policies and practices," the announcement reads in part.

The panel includes six members who "will lend its expert, external perspective on industry best practices and will evaluate league and club diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies and initiatives." The committee's work will primarily focus on "all hiring processes, policies, and procedures" particularly at the "senior-level coach and front office personnel positions."

Committee members include Pamela Carlton, Peter Harvey, Patricia Brown Holmes, Stefanie K. Johnson, Rick Smith, and Don Thompson who hail from the legal, business, football, and academic fields.

"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," NFL Commission Roger Goodell said in a statement. "This esteemed group's work will help us build a more inclusive league," he added.

Flores is suing the league and several teams after mistakenly receiving congratulatory text messages from New England Patriots owner Bill Bellichick on a coaching job for the New York Giants that he hadn't interviewed for yet. Flores said the messages prove the Giants only called him in to interview to satisfy the league's Rooney Rule –– which mandates all teams bring in at least one candidate of color when a head coaching job opens up.

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