Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores turned the football world on its head Tuesday when he filed a class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.
According to Flores, various improprieties were purportedly committed by the NFL, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos.
In a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, Flores claims that among other things:
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for every loss in an effort to improve his team’s draft standing; that the Giants interviewed him while knowing that they would hire Brian Daboll as head coach in an effort to circumvent the NFL’s Rooney Rule which mandate that teams interview minority candidates; and that in 2019 the Broncos also interviewed him even though they “never had any intention to consider him as a legitimate candidate for the job.”
Brian Flores’ class action lawsuit against the NFL – he is being represented by the same firm that represented Harvey Weinstein victims and former Fox News employees in their discrimination cases https://t.co/1EqJ7qDA4A pic.twitter.com/jrSjm12XHT
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) February 1, 2022
The Broncos bit is particularly incredible.
“In 2019 Mr. Flores was scheduled to interview with the Denver Broncos,” the lawsuit reads. “However, the Broncos’ then-General Manager, John Elway, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis and others, showed up an hour late to the interview. They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before.
“It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule, and that the Broncos never had any intention to consider him as a legitimate candidate for the job. Shortly thereafter, Vic Fangio, a white man, was hired to be the Head Coach of the Broncos.”
Why is the NFL involved? The lawsuit addresses that as well.
“While racial barriers have been eroded in many areas, Defendant the National Football League (‘NFL’ or the ‘League’) lives in a time of the past. As described throughout this Class Action Complaint, the NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers,” it reads.
“Over the years, the NFL and its 32-member organizations (the ‘Teams’) have been given every chance to do the right thing. Rules have been implemented, promises made—but nothing has changed. In fact, the racial discrimination has only been made worse by the NFL’s disingenuous commitment to social equity.
“As such, in the face of the risks associated with combating racism and injustice, and in particular standing up to organizations as powerful as the NFL and its Teams, Mr. Flores has determined that the only way to effectuate real change is through the Courts, where the NFL’s conduct can be judged by a jury of Mr. Flores’ peers. A judgment that is long overdue.”
Also included with the lawsuit is a damning text message exchange between Flores and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, where he seems to confirm that the Giants were going in a different direction before Flores even had his interview.
It will be interesting to see where this situation goes from here.
The real reason Flores and Miami went their separate ways emerged shortly after his ouster. Since then, it has been assumed that he would easily find a new gig. But he hasn’t.
Flores was always a captivating personality. His brutal honesty in regards to his young quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, consistently stood out. Same with his reaction to his own players openly blasting Tagovailoa in the media.
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 1, 2022
What role that has played in his troubles to this point is unclear.
Stay tuned. This whole unfortunate saga promises get really messy, really quickly.