Doug Whaley, the XFL’s Senior Vice President Of Player Personnel, recently talked with TMZ Sports about the lawsuit involving former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and the NFL.
Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and its teams, alleging the league has engaged in discriminatory hiring practices against Black candidates for coaching and front-office positions and conducted sham interviews under the pretense of the Rooney Rule.
The Rooney Rule is an NFL policy requiring league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.
Whaley mostly spoke about the lawsuit, saying
“I just think that the main thing here is when you are talking about billionaires, billionaires or billionaires for a reason, they’ve made wise decisions. But I’ll tell you this much, being around the billionaires, I’ve had billions in around and the ones that I read about, they’re not billionaires because they consider people’s feelings when they’re making decisions.
So this will hopefully move the needle. But to really make change and effect change is when players stand up and start talking about withholding their services, when media companies start saying, hey, I know we signed this contract, but we’re going to have to start pulling back unless you change sponsors, if they start pulling sponsorship dollars. So the point being is to really affect change with billionaires, you hit them where they really are concerned.
That’s not people’s feelings, it’s their bank accounts, it’s the commas in their bank accounts. When that starts getting effective, I bet you change will happen a lot sooner.”
The NFL made the following statement on the matter but backtracked on it a bit later with an internal memo to teams.
”The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations,” the NFL said in it’s statement. “Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit.”
Whaley was asked what he would say to Flores directly.
“I would just say I tip my cap to you. I respect you and what you were doing will go down in history as something that not only needed to be done, but hopefully it’s not in vain and we can move the needle.”
TMZ and Whaley go on to talk about the need for a level playing field in the NFL, if Flores will get another job in the NF and more. Then Whaley was asked if there would be a spot for the coach in the XFL.
“As we say in the XFL, the only qualifications for entrance into XFL is talent and he is a talented guy. So just say that. Be it. Players, coaches, administrators. If you have the skill set to make us an incredible League, we will definitely pay attention and consider it.”
The XFL is set to return to the field in 2023 but player combines are set to begin this summer.
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