Kishner Discusses Suit Alleging Discrimination in NFL Hiring

January 10, 2023 – Media Mention

Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, spoke to Law360 about the pending class action lawsuit against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in their hiring practices. 

The article highlighted that two of the five current head coaching vacancies "appeared to be egregious examples of what Flores and his co-plaintiffs are suing about." The article also notes that as recently as this week, one NFL team fired a Black head coach after one season for the second year in a row. The five current openings are linked to the suit in various ways. 

"There is clearly a history of not treating the majority of African American players and coaches as fairly as they should be,'' Irwin noted. "And it can be proven through the facts and the figures. Numbers don't lie.'' 

The article discusses the potential for a "deep dive" into the statistics, for example by conducting an analysis of coaches who have kept their jobs in comparison to those with similar records who were terminated. Such an analysis, Irwin explained, would probably produce a predictable but convincing result: Black players make up a far larger percentage of the NFL, but a comparatively tiny percentage of NFL coaches and assistants.

"The question is: Why? What explains that discrepancy?" Irwin said. "There's a number of different explanations for it, but when you see the pure numbers, you scratch your head.''

Read the full article in Law360 here. Access may require a subscription.