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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Damario Solomon-Simmons

Judge Grants Black Football Players’ Request, Reinstates Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz as Defendant

Federal Judge Grants Black Football Players’ Request to Reinstate University of Iowa Head Football Coach Defendant Kirk Ferentz as a Defendant to Race Discrimination Lawsuit

In the wake of the George Floyd murder, dozens of Black football players who played under current Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz, revealed how the white football coaches at the University of Iowa constantly berated my them with racial slurs like “dumbass black player,” forced Black players to abandon natural and common African American hairstyles, dress, and culture, to fit the “Iowa Way,” and inflicted unfair and retaliatory punishment for anyone speaking out against the discrimination they experienced and witnessed.

When this gross behavior was first exposed Iowa sanctioned and paid for an investigation conducted by the law firm Husch Blackwell, LLP (HB) which found “in sum, the [the Iowa football program’s] rules perpetuated racial and culture biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity . . . the program . . . maintained a culture that allows coaches to demean players.”

On April 8, 2022, we asked the Court to allow our clients to reinstate Defendants University of Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, and Athletic Director Gary Barta into the lawsuit, and to add Assistant Defensive Coordinator Seth Wallace as a new Defendant. In addition, Plaintiffs requested leave from the Court to add additional claims under both § 1981 and § 1983.

Magistrate Judge Helen C. Adams granted Plaintiffs’ Combined Motion to Amend First Amended Complaint and to Add Parties on August 17, 2022, noting that:

“…the Court does not find that Plaintiffs’ proposed amendments are all futile on their face.”

“…Plaintiffs have alleged new factual allegations and causes of action that may survive a dispositive motion.”

You can view Plaintiffs’ April 8, 2022 Motion by CLICKING BELOW.

Plaintiffs' Combined Motion to Amend First Amended Complaint and Add Parties filed April 8
Download • 2.36MB

You can view Judge Adams' August 17, 2022 Order by CLICKING BELOW.

Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend First Amended Complaint and Add Parties filed A
Download • 222KB

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