March 28, 2023

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Panthers hire Frank Reich: Attorney representing Steve Wilkes says ‘there’s a legitimate racial problem in the NFL’

Despite his impressive work as a leopardsInterim head coach Steve Wilkes was not chosen to be the permanent Carolina head coach. The job was instead He went to Frank Reichwhich he fired colts Nine games into the 2022 season.

Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who is representing Wilkes in the pending racial discrimination case against Brian Flores v. NFL, issued a statement after the Panthers announced Reich’s appointment.

“We are shocked and upset that after Coach Wilkes’ amazing job as interim head coach, including getting the team back into playoff contention and rallying player and fan support, he has been passed over for the head coach position by David Tepper.

“There is a legitimate racial problem in the NFL, and we can assure you we’ll have more to say in the coming days.”

Wilkes received rave reviews from Panthers players after replacing Matt Rowley after the team’s 1-4 start. The Panthers went 6-6 under Wilkes and finished just short of winning the NFC’s South Division.

The fact that the Panthers were competitive down the stretch was a testament to Wilkes, a longtime defensive assistant who served as the basicsHead coach for the 2018 season. Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold said Wilkes’ transparency was one of his biggest strengths during his tenure as interim coach.

“I think he’ll be able to be honest with us and tell us exactly how we’re going to play the game and what we want to do and not be ashamed of it,” he said. Darnold said After their week 14 win over Seattle. He said early on, even when we were losing some games, it was like, ‘Hey, trust the process and trust the game plan. “If we go into a game knowing we want to run the football and early on we get a score or two, we just have to trust it and know that that game plan is going to pay off. So I think Coach Wilkes has been doing a really good job of sending messages to the team.” .

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The Carolina players publicly lobbied for Wilkes late in the 2022 season. Unfortunately for them and Wilkes, their lobbying ultimately fell on deaf ears.

“We’re riding behind Wilkes,” the linebacker said Chuck Thompson said After Carolina’s late-season win in Seattle. “He came here, he’s a true alpha, he’s a true leader and men follow him.

“He did a great job. Look what we went through.”

The lack of minority coaches was a hot topic this time a year ago, especially after dolphins“Flores and Flores Shooting” v. NFL. The NFL had only three black coaches at the start of the 2022 season. One of those coaches, Lovie Smith, became the third black coach fired by a team Texas In several years the day after the end of the regular season.

This past February, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to NFL teams addressing not hiring minorities.

“We have made great efforts to promote diversity and have adopted many policies and programs that have brought about positive change in many areas, but we must admit that the results have been particularly unacceptable in terms of head coaches,” Gödel Books. “We will re-evaluate and examine all policies, guidelines and initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion, including those related to gender.”