The NFL has long been criticized for its long-standing stance on racism, but the league is beginning to take a more proactive approach toward addressing the issue, according to the NFL Players Association.
That’s because the league has been hit with a wave of lawsuits over the past year, including the class action suit filed by former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Deion Jones.
The NFLPA has called for a more rigorous investigation of the issue.
That investigation has been underway for more than a year and is looking at all aspects of the players union, including its internal affairs department, its internal investigations and its legal departments.
In a statement to the Associated Press, the NFLPA said that it is also working to address the issue of racial bias and has been conducting a “wide-ranging” internal investigation to determine what the league needs to do.
The players union says it has already begun a review of its practices and that it’s considering new initiatives to address racial bias, including hiring an independent investigator to examine whether the league had an issue with players’ employment contracts.
It’s unclear how much time the NFL has to complete that investigation.
Jones, the former Falcons defensive tackle, claims that the league was negligent in the way it handled his dismissal from the team and that he should have been allowed to pursue his own legal claims.
The suit was filed on behalf of three other former players who alleged they were mistreated by the league.
The three players allege that the NFL had an illegal “special measures” policy that barred them from seeking damages from the league for discrimination, and that they were not allowed to sue the league in a state court.
The policy is part of a broader pattern of discrimination that has led to many of the claims in the lawsuit to be dismissed.
It also is part, the players claim, of a systemic problem that has created a culture that discourages black players from playing professional football, and it also violates the National Labor Relations Act.
“We are seeking justice for all of the victims of racial discrimination in the NFL, and we hope to be vindicated through a thorough and fair review of all of our policies, procedures and processes,” the union said in the statement.
The case against the NFL is still pending.