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Judge In Brian Flores Case Reportedly Makes Notable Ruling

Brian Flores on the Miami Dolphins.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

A federal judge has ruled in favor of publicly sealing contract information for Brian Flores and other coaches who have joined his lawsuit alleging the NFL of racist hiring practices.

According to The Athletic's Daniel Wallach, Judge Valerie Caproni granted the league's motion to conceal "employment and financial information" for Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton that are not relevant to the case.

Per The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan, the NFL filed "heavily redacted copies" of contracts while requesting to move the case into arbitration.

"The excerpted agreements are confidential employment agreements that contain proprietary and sensitive information relating to the terms of employment between certain of the NFL’s member clubs and their coaches, including terms relating to compensation and coaching responsibilities," the NFL wrote to Caproni. "Disclosure of the nonrelevant terms of these agreements would thus place the member clubs at a competitive disadvantage to rival clubs who compete for the same coaching candidates. Disclosure would equally disadvantage plaintiffs, as coaches and coaching candidates, in their potential negotiations and dealings with other clubs."

Flores' lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, called the request "the first step in what will ultimately be a long and sustained effort to maintain confidentiality."

“The NFL and its teams should not be permitted to simply dictate confidentiality based on their unilateral purported ‘relevance’ determinations and preferences, in contravention of the well-settled law,” Wigdor wrote.

Flores, now an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, accused the Denver Broncos and New York Giants of conducting "sham" interviews for their head-coaching vacancies to satisfy the Rooney Rule requirement of interviewing a minority candidate. He also alleged that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,00 for each loss during the 2019 season to draw better draft positioning and added the Houston Texans to the lawsuit on claims of retaliation.

Wilks and Horton joined the lawsuit in April. Wilks alleged the Arizona Cardinals only hired him as a "bridge coach" with no plans of keeping him long term. Horton claimed the Tennessee Titans conducted a sham interview before hiring Mike Mularkey, who said the Titans told him they'd give him a job before speaking to any other candidates.

The NFL could keep more information private if the case goes to arbitration. Per an ESPN report, David Gottlieb, a lawyer representing the coaches, called for "an open and fair process."