As interim head coach, Steve Wilks led a 1-4 Carolina Panthers team (who just traded Christian McCaffrey) back into playoff contention, going 6-6 in the team’s last 12 games.
On Thursday, the Panthers announced the hiring of Frank Reich as their next head coach.
Wigdor LLP represents Wilks and is representing Brian Flores in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL after the former Miami Dolphins head coach said he felt the front offices were interviewing black candidates simply to comply with the Rule. Rooney, instead of giving them a serious shot at job opportunities. .
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After Reich was hired despite Wilks getting a second interview with Carolina to drop the interim tag, the law firm criticized the Panthers for their decision.
«We are shocked and upset that after the incredible job that Coach Wilks did as interim head coach, which included getting the team back into playoff contention and gaining support from players and fans, he was overlooked for the head coach position [CEO] David Tepper,» they said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.
«There is a legitimate race issue in the NFL, and we can assure you that we will have more to say in the days ahead.»
Several players had spoken highly of Wilks, and Derrick Brown recently said that everyone wanted him back.
«I’ll speak for everyone in that locker room by saying we want Coach Wilks to be our next head coach. That’s for sure,» he said. «Good morning soccer.»
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Reich was fired by the Indianapolis Colts midway through this season after a 3-5-1 start: In 2021, the Colts lost their last two games to miss the playoffs.
Reich was the first quarterback to accept Carolina when they became an expansion team in 1995: He went 40-33-1 with the Colts, which was his first performance as head coach.
The 61-year-old was also the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles during their participation in Super Bowl LII.
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With the Houston Texans firing Lovie Smith right at the end of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin is the only black head coach in the NFL.
Wilks was released from the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 after one season and replaced by Kliff Kingsbury, who was released after this season.