According to NFL.com, former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, now a defensive assistant coach with the Carolina Panthers, and Ray Horton, a former defensive coordinator, who was a head coach candidate for the Tennessee Titans, were added as plaintiffs in Flores’ class-action lawsuit.
The amended complaint, filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York, has added new allegations of discrimination against three NFL teams. The Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, and the Houston Texans
“When Coach Flores filed this action, I knew I owed it to myself, and to all Black NFL coaches and aspiring coaches, to stand with him,” Wilks said in a statement. “This lawsuit has shed further important light on a problem that we all know exists, but that too few are willing to confront. Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to become employed, and remain employed, as white coaches and candidates.”
Horton believes the Titans conducted a “sham interview” when they spoke to him for the head coach vacancy in January 2016. He said that the team had already decided to hire Mike Mularkey. Horton was then the Titans defensive coordinator Mularkey, who is white, was the team’s interim head coach.
In the updated complaint, Mularkey said in a 2020 podcast interview that he regretted the process that led to him becoming the Titans head coach.
“I allowed myself at one point when I was in Tennessee to get caught up in something I regret, and I still regret it, but the ownership there, Amy Adams Strunk and her family, came in and told me I was going to be the head coach in 2016 before they went through the Rooney Rule,” Mularkey said at that time. “And so I sat there knowing I was the head coach in 2016, as they went through this fake hiring process, knowing a lot of the coaches that they were interviewing, knowing how much they prepared to go through those interviews, knowing that everything they could do and they had no chance to get that job.”