*Former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been hired by the NFL to help defend it against a major class-action lawsuit.
We reported earlier that the case, brought by ex-Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, has him suing the league for racial discrimination after being overlooked for job openings. There are only 2 Black head coaches in the NFL which is made up of 32 teams and 70 percent of the players are Black.
When news broke that the NFL had hired Lynch, HBCU Pride Nation posted on Instagram Feb. 17: “This feels like betrayal and we don’t understand why she would take on this case.”
Lynch, 62, is a Harvard grad and the first Black Female Attorney General in US history. She was appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Carlos Moore, president of the National Bar Association, said there was “overwhelming disappointment” among its membership of nearly 60,000 Black attorneys and judges, USA Today Sports reports.
Lynch has fought against racial discrimination throughout so her taking on the NFL case is leaving civil rights activists and her own supporters confused.
“The NFL clearly has a history of alleged racial discrimination. Just look at what happened to Colin Kaepernick,” Moore said, referring to the NFL blacklisting former San Francisco 49ers quarterback for condemning racial injustice.
“She’s obviously a well-respected, highly regarded lawyer,” said attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents Flores against the NFL. “But her expertise definitely is not in this area of law. And given her background in civil rights … it is definitely surprising to see her defending the NFL in a race discrimination case of this magnitude.”
Rev. Al. Sharpton is optimistic that Lynch’s involvement with the case could lead to a positive impact when it comes to Black candidates being hired as head coaches and executives. Currently, there are two Black head coaches, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans.
“Our hope is she could get the NFL to come to the table and deal with some of these longstanding issues,” Sharpton told USA TODAY Sports.
Prominent legal analyst Joey Jackson said the NFL chose Lynch because “She’s a fixer.”
“She gets things done. And she’s a unifier,” Jackson added.
“Why is that important? I think that you’re not going to see scorched-earth litigation here. I think this is a recognition by the NFL that there’s work to be done. And I think that the hiring of her is more meant to fix the problem than to bring home a victory for the NFL.”