NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL added a former Tennessee Titans assistant’s name to it. Ray Horton has entered a class-action lawsuit against the team for racial discrimination in its hiring practices.
Horton alleges that in 2016, the Titans conducted a “sham” interview with him to be their next head coach.
On Thursday, an interview with Mike Mularkey, the candidate hired as the Titans head coach in 2016-17, on the Steelers Realm Podcast surfaced on social media, and raised even more eyebrows about the Titans’ hiring process that year.
“I allowed myself at one point when I was in Tennessee to get caught up in something. I regret it, and I regret it because I pride myself and my kids first to do the right thing, and I always said that to the players,” Mularkey said. “And here I am, the head guy not doing it, and I regretted it since then. It was the wrong thing to do. I am sorry I did that, but it was not the way to do that. Should have been interviewed like everybody else and got hired cause of the interview, not early on.”
The Titans responded to the allegations with the following statement:
“Our 2016 head coach search was a thoughtful and competitive process fully in keeping with NFL guidelines and our own organizational values. We conducted detailed, in-person interviews with four talented individuals, two of whom were diverse candidates. No decision was made, and no decision was communicated, prior to the completion of all interviews. While we are proud of Our Commitment to Diversity, we are dedicated to continued growth as an organization to foster diversity and inclusion in our workplace and community.”
The last NFL team to be fined for not following the Rooney Rule was the Detroit Lions back in 2003 when the organization was fined $200,000.
The league has yet to comment on Horton’s allegations.