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NFL hires Loretta Lynch for its defense of Brian Flores’s lawsuit

Former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch has previously worked with the NFL. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
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Loretta E. Lynch, a former U.S. attorney general, will be among the lawyers representing the NFL as it defends itself in the racial discrimination lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that the NFL retained Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and that Lynch and Brad S. Karp, the firm’s chairman, will lead the defense.

Lynch is a partner in the firm’s litigation department. She served as attorney general from 2015 to 2017, becoming the first African American woman to hold the office. Lynch has worked previously with the NFL, leading the league’s investigation of allegations made by Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder about his former limited partners.

Karp previously has represented the league in a variety of matters, including concussion-related litigation.

Roger Goodell vows action on NFL minority hiring, says nothing is ‘off the table’

Flores filed his lawsuit this month in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing the NFL and teams of discriminating against Black coaches and denying them equal opportunity. Flores named the Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos while listing the 29 other NFL teams as potential defendants. Flores was fired by the Dolphins last month after a second straight winning season.

The league and the teams named in the lawsuit denied Flores’s allegations. Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the NFL won’t “take anything off the table” as it seeks to address its diversity issues following a hiring cycle this offseason in which only one of the nine head coaching vacancies leaguewide was filled by a Black coach.

“I put the legal claims and the legal process to the side,” Goodell said in Inglewood, Calif., at his annual news conference during Super Bowl week. “That’ll be handled by lawyers. To me, it’s more important for us to sort of listen to [Flores], understand what he and other coaches are going through, what our clubs are going through … and also, again, reevaluate everything we’re doing.”

The NFL’s hiring of Lynch was first reported by Bloomberg.