Brian Flores' lawsuit against the NFL for alleged discrimination and racism in its hiring process specifically pointed out three NFL teams. Flores called out the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Flores' old team, the Miami Dolphins.
The former Dolphins head coach is suing the NFL, in part, because their owners have not been following through with the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule was put into place 19 years ago and forced NFL teams to interview one minority candidate for coaching vacancies.
However, there are fewer minority head coaches in the NFL now than there were 19 years ago. In addition, NFL teams' ownership is 95.3% white. NFL ownership has no African-Americans represented at all.
Only two of the 32 NFL owners are minorities. However, neither of them are African-American. For that matter, the NFL has never had a black owner in its 102-year history.
The NFL teams' lack of diversity is egregious
The NFL's only minority owners are Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kim Pegula of the Buffalo Bills. Khan was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States at age 16. Pegula is Asian American but isn't the sole owner of the Bills. She co-owns the team with her husband, Terry Pegula.
The lack of diversity from NFL teams in their coaches and owners alike has crossed the radar of the public eye.
Flores' lawsuit has severely hurt the NFL's public image. Currently, the NFL does not have any black owners, despite 70% of its players being black. Even worse, the league has never had a black owner. However, that's something that could change sooner rather than later.
One of the NFL teams Flores mentioned in his lawsuit, the Broncos, is currently up for sale. There have been rumors of Peyton Manning and John Elway competing for ownership.
The Broncos legends could have competition from billionaire investor Robert F. Smith. Smith is the richest black man in America, according to Forbes, and could become the first black owner in NFL history.
That would be a progressive step in the NFL, which is under pressure to diversify. Flores isn't alone in calling out the NFL's prejudices, as former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson spoke out this week to the media as well.
The NFL has arguably never faced a more consequential lawsuit than the one they're facing now. How they navigate it and change going forward will tell a lot about their future and how much they care about their image and public perception.