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Titans head coach candidate claims 2016 interview was ‘sham’


A former Tennessee Titans coaching candidate is joining a racial discrimination lawsuit against the National Football League.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 4:43 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A former Tennessee Titans coaching candidate is joining a racial discrimination lawsuit against the National Football League.

Ray Horton said he joined the NFL discrimination lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores because he claims the Titans conducted a “sham” interview with him to fill the vacant head coach position in 2016.

Flores sued the NFL in February alleging racial discrimination by the league’s teams in hiring practices.

Horton, the former Titans defensive coordinator who was with the team for two seasons, joined the lawsuit on Thursday along with former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks.

Horton alleges the Titans interviewed him for their head coach spot in 2016 despite having already promising the job to interim head coach Mike Mularkey, who was later promoted to the position.

Horton claims the interview was a sham citing evidence from a 2020 podcast interview with Mularkey.

The Titans released a statement about Horton’s claims:

“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.”

- Tennessee Titans

Horton released a statement through his attorney saying he was “devastated and humiliated” when he learned from Coach Mularkey’s statements that his interview with the Titans was a sham.

“I am proud to stand with Coach Flores and Coach Wilks in combatting the systematic discrimination which has plagued the NFL for far too long. When I learned from Coach Mularkey’s statements that my head coach interview with the Titans was a sham, I was devastated and humiliated. By joining this case, I am hoping to turn that experience into a positive and make lasting change and create true equal opportunity in the future.”

- Ray Horton

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