Dec 19, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores runs off the field after winning the game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, we learned that former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks and longtime NFL assistant Ray Horton were joining Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL and multiple franchises alleging racial discrimination in their hiring practices for head coaches.

Wilks is accusing the Cardinals of using him as a “bridge coach” before firing him after one season in order to hire Kliff Kingsbury instead.

Meanwhile, Horton is alleging that the Tennessee Titans did a sham interview with him in 2015 when hiring a new head coach in order to appease the Rooney Rule. To back that up, Mike Mularkey, who was eventually hired instead, claimed in a 2020 podcast interview that he was told by one of the Titans owners that he was going to get the job while they were still interviewing two minority candidates.

While none of the new allegations were surprising to many who have been paying attention to NFL head coach hiring over the last few decades, it’s rare to get a smoking gun like that from a white coach who was hired. And it’s the kind of thing that could really come back to bite the NFL and teams involved in the lawsuit if a judge believes it represents exactly the kind of discrimination that Flores, Wilks, and Horton are claiming.

Meanwhile, the news of fresh allegations and two new additions to the lawsuit got a lot of people around the NFL world talking, especially about the Mularkey quote and what it could mean.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to