Steve Wilks ‘not defeated’ after Panthers hire Frank Reich as lawyers claim NFL has ‘legitimate race problem’
Wilks' lawyers said Friday there is a 'legitimate race problem in the NFL'
Steve Wilks, former Carolina Panthers interim head coach, broke his silence Friday morning one day after learning that we would not be named the next head coach of the organization.
Following the news that the Panthers hired Frank Reich on Thursday, Wilks posted a message to social media on Friday, thanking his former players and staff.
"The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I," Wilks said on Twitter. "I'm disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren't built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see it through.
STEVE WILKS’ LAWYERS SAYS THERE IS A ‘LEGITIMATE RACE PROBLEM’ IN NFL AFTER PANTHERS HIRE FRANK REICH OVER HIM
"It was an honor for me to coach those men in the Carolina Panthers locker room as the interim head coach. Players, coaches and staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication. I took pride in representing Charlotte, a great city that I love so much. Thank you to my family, friends and the community for your overwhelming support.
"I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team."
Wilks took over the Panthers following a Week 5 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, dropping Carolina to 1-4.
He went 6-6 in his time as interim head coach, putting the Panthers in playoff contention at the end of the season.
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Several Panthers’ players expressed their support for Wilks to get the full-time job.
Following news of Reich’s hire on Friday, the law firm representing Wilks ripped the Panthers organization in a statement.
"We are shocked and disturbed that after the incredible job Coach Wilks did as the interim coach, including bringing the team back into Playoff contention and garnering the support of the players and fans, that he was passed over for the Head Coach position by [CEO] David Tepper," Wigdor LLP said in a statement obtained Fox News Digital.
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"There is a legitimate race problem in the NFL, and we can assure you that we will have more to say in the coming days."
Wigdor LLP also represents former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL.
Reich was fired by the Indianapolis Colts midway through the 2022 season after going 3-5-1.