Former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores Sues NFL For Discrimination
According to NFL.com, Flores, who is Black has sued the NFL and three teams, the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants, alleging discrimination based on his firing from Miami and pertaining to the interview process he went through with Denver and New York.
The 58-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court as it is pursuing class-action status. The suit is seeking unspecified damages from the league, the three teams named, and unidentified individuals.
Over three years at the helm of the team, Flores led the Dolphins to a 24-25 record and although Miami went 9-8 in their second straight winning season, the team did not make the playoffs. This was the first time the Dolphins had back-to-back winning seasons in almost 20 years, dating back to 2003.
The lawsuit Flores filed alleges that the NFL discriminated against Flores and other Black coaches for racial reasons, and he claims teams denied them positions as general managers, head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and quarterbacks coaches.
“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. 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 said in a written statement.
Flores Lays Out Damning Claims In Discrimination Suit
Flores contends that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told him he would pay the former coach $100,000 for every loss during his first season so the club could “tank” in its efforts to obtain the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
He also states that Ross also pressured him to recruit a well-known quarterback, identified by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport as Tom Brady. Flores, knowing that was a violation of the league’s tampering rules refused, and he alleges that he “was ostracized and ultimately he was fired.”
The Dolphins responded to the explosive suit.
“We are aware of the lawsuit through the media reports that came out this afternoon,” the Dolphins said in a statement.
“We vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect. We will be withholding further comment on the lawsuit at this time.”
After losing his Miami head coaching job, several teams requested to interview Flores for their head-coach openings. In the lawsuit, Flores alleges the New York Giants, engaged in a “sham interview” process with Flores for their vacancy.
The suit alleges that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick “mistakenly disclosed” to the former coach in a text message on Jan. 24, three days before Flores’ interview with the Giants, that the team was going to hire Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who is white. Two days after Flores’ interview, the Giants announced they hired Daboll.
Flores claims he was only interviewed to satisfy the “Rooney rule” which stipulates that an NFL team has to interview at least Black people for an open head coach position.