Former Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores Sues the NFL, Dolphins, Broncos and Giants Alleging Racism in Hiring Process

Former Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores Sues the NFL, Dolphins, Broncos and Giants Alleging Racism in Hiring Process

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has filed a lawsuit against the NFL, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants organizations alleging the league and teams’ hiring processes are rooted in racism.

Flores filed the class-action lawsuit Tuesday in a New York district court and it includes some serious allegations.

In the suit, Flores revealed he received a text message from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick congratulating him on getting hired by the New York Giants when he hadn’t yet interviewed. Confused by the message, Flores asked Bill if he had any inside knowledge on the selection and if he was texting the right person. Belichick then admitted the text was meant for Brian Daboll — who ultimately got the head-coaching job with the Giants.

Flores and Daboll both worked under Belichick in New England.

“Sorry – I f—– this up. I double checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I’m sorry about that. BB,” the complaint quoted Belichick.

 

Flores believes his interview with the Giants was set up simply to keep the team in line with the Rooney Rule which mandates teams to interview minority candidates. The rule was set up in 2003 and is named after former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

The 40-year-old coach says this wasn’t the first time he’s been forced to participate in a “sham interview that was held only in an effort to comply with the Rooney Rule.” He says back in 2019 he interviewed with the Broncos and “it was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule.”

Flores also named Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in the suit alleging that Ross in 2019 offered to pay him $100K per loss in an effort to get a better draft pick.

Flores also alleges Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback” which violates the NFL’s rules on tampering. He said he was invited on a yacht in the winter of 2020 where a quarterback would be “conveniently” arriving for an impromptu meeting. Flores said he refused the meeting and left.

The coach said was labeled difficult to work with and was then fired by the organization.

“This is reflective of an all too familiar ‘angry Black man’ stigma that is often casted upon Black men who are strong in their morals and convictions while white men are coined as passionate for those very same attributes,” the lawsuit reads.

In response to the suit, the NFL said, “The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations,” the league said in a statement. “Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit.”

The Giants also responded to the claims made in the lawsuit saying, “We are please and confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll. We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates. The fact of the matter is, Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour.  Ultimately, we hired the individual we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach.”

The Broncos also claimed to have fair hiring processes, saying in a statement, “Pages of detailed notes, analysis and evaluations from our interview demonstrate the depth of our conversation and sincere interest in Mr. Flores as a head coaching candidate,” the team said. “Our process was thorough and fair to determine the most qualified candidate for our head coaching position.

“The Broncos will vigorously defend the integrity and values of our organization — and its employees — from such baseless and disparaging claims.”

Flores, who remains without a coaching job said he understands this may leave him without a coaching job in the future, however, this is bigger than his personal agenda.

“God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals,” Flores said. “In making the decision to file the class action complaint today, I understand that I may be risking coaching the game that I love and that has done so much for my family and me. My sincere hope is that by standing up against systemic racism in the NFL, others will join me to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come.”

Flores is asking the court to fix the NFL’s alleged discriminatory hiring practices, including:

• Increase influence of Black individuals in hiring

• Increase “the objectivity of” hiring/terminating GMs, head coaches and coordinators

• Increase the number of Black coordinators

• Incentivize hiring/retention of Black GMs, head coaches and coordinators

• Transparency of pay for GMs, head coaches and coordinators

The lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages from the league.

 

 

About Simone

Simone is an award-winning communications professional with over seven years of experience. Her passion for writing has led her to serve as Editor-in-Chief at Baller Alert. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling (to mostly tropical destinations.)

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