Steve Wilks’ lawyer after Panthers rent: NFL has ‘race drawback’

The Panthers made the primary rent of the NFL teaching cycle, inking former Colts head coach Frank Reich for a similar place in Carolina. And never everyone seems to be completely happy concerning the rent – particularly, interim head coach Steve Wilks, who took over the job midseason after Matt Rhule was fired.

Wilks, who’s black, was thought-about for the full-time gig, however the group opted for Reich, who’s white. Instantly after the rent was made, Wilks’ lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, launched an announcement that appeared to query whether or not he was handed over resulting from race.

“We’re shocked and disturbed that after the unimaginable job Coach Wilks did because the interim coach, together with bringing the group again into Playoff competition and garnering the help of the gamers and followers, that he was handed over for the Head Coach place by David Tepper,” the assertion learn.

“There’s a reputable race drawback within the NFL, and we are able to guarantee you that we’ll have extra to say within the coming days.”

Wilks beforehand joined former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit in opposition to the NFL, with Wigdor representing him in that case, too. Wilks was beforehand the pinnacle coach for the Arizona Cardinals, however was fired after only one season and changed by Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired after the 2022 season.

Steve Wilks on the Panthers sideline
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Frank Reich during his Colts tenure
Frank Reich throughout his Colts tenure
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Panthers gamers overtly lobbied to maintain Wilks as the pinnacle coach on a full-time foundation, after he led Carolina to a decent 6-6 file after taking on for Rhule. The Panthers got here inside one recreation of profitable a weak NFC South, ending behind the 8-9 Buccaneers.

“We trip behind Wilks,” linebacker Shaq Thompson stated through the season after the Panthers beat the Seahawks, who made the playoffs, in December.

“He got here in right here, he’s a real alpha, he’s a real chief and guys observe behind him. He’s finished wonderful. Look what we’ve been going via.”

Reich was the pinnacle coach for the Colts from 2018 till he was fired in the midst of the 2022 season, main Indianapolis to the playoffs twice in that span. He was additionally the primary ever beginning quarterback for the Panthers of their inaugural 1995 season, throwing the primary landing move in franchise historical past.

Wilks and his authorized group, nonetheless, nonetheless clearly imagine there was extra to the choice to rent Reich over him.

Wilks launched an announcement of his personal to his Twitter account on Friday morning, saying he was “disenchanted however not defeated” that he didn’t land the full-time job.

“The solar rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I,” the assertion learn. “I’m disenchanted however not defeated. Many individuals aren’t constructed for this however I do know what it means to persevere and see it via.”

He additionally wished Reich “all the most effective.”