2/2/22 by Claire Overton
Brian Flores is suing the NFL, along with the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants, and the Denver Broncos. In the 58-page lawsuit, Flores alleges discrimination in the hiring process with all three teams.
Flores claims that all three teams are in violation of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for their open positions. More recently, the NFL specified that teams must interview at least one external minority candidate for any general manager position or head coach position.
Flores was fired from his head coach position with the Dolphins on Jan. 10, after having winning records the last two seasons.
In the lawsuit, he stated that the Giants interviewed him for the sole purpose of abiding by the Rooney Rule. Before his interview, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick texted Flores, thinking he was texting Brian Daboll, and there are images of the text exchange in the lawsuit. Daboll, who is white and the former offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, was also an interviewee for the Giants job. Belicheck texted Flores, congratulating him on the new head coach position. Flores asked Belichick, “Coach, are you talking to Brian Flores or Brian Daboll. Just making sure.” Belichick replied, “Sorry – I f*cked this up. I double checked and I misread the text. I think they are naming Daboll. Sorry about that. BB”
In a response to the situation, Flores said he was “humiliated in the process as the New York Giants subjected him to a sham interview in an attempt to appear to provide a Black candidate with a legitimate chance at obtaining the job.” The Giants have said they are confident with the process of hiring their new coach, Brian Daboll.
Flores claims the Broncos also subjected him to a sham interview to abide by the Rooney Rule back in 2019. The Broncos released a statement calling the claims “blatantly false” and said they will “vigorously defend” against his lawsuit.
Furthermore, Flores said that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to pay him to purposely lose games. Ross offered to pay $100,000 per game lost. After some successful games late in the season, Flores was told that Ross was “mad” and the success was “compromising [the team’s] draft position”.
Flores understands that he “may be risking coaching the game” that he loves, but his hope is by “standing up against the systemic racism in the NFL, others will join [him] to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come.”
“Diversity is core to everything we do,” the NFL said in a statement. “We will defend against these claims, which are without merit.”
Sources close to former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said he has plans to meet with Flores’ attorney. Jackson claims to also have proof of incentivized tanking of games.
No other coaches have joined the lawsuit, however, Flores’ attorney expects more to join.