Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has sued the NFL and three additional teams, the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Giants, per ESPN . He’s alleging discrimination regarding his interview process with the Giants, Broncos, and his firing last month by Miami. The lawsuit is 58 pages long and seeks class-action status. Flores dropped several bombshells within one huge bombshell.
Flores allegations toward the Miami Dolphins
He alleges that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to incentivize him to “tank” or to throw games purposely. In 2019, shortly after Flores was hired, Ross allegedly offered him $100,000 for every game they lose that season. Flores explains in the lawsuit that as the team won games late in the season, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told him Ross grew mad. The on-field success was affecting their draft capital for the following year.
Additionally, Flores alleges that Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback” towards the end of the 2019 season. However, he didn’t feel comfortable and refused to violate the NFL’s tampering rules. Ross also allegedly invited Flores on a yacht for lunch in 2020, where he notified him “consequently” the quarterback was arriving for an impromptu meeting. Afterward, Flores claims that he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was non-compliant and difficult to work with.”
He was fired on Jan. 10 despite recording the Dolphins’ first back-to-back winning seasons since 2003. However, there were more allegations to unpack that Flores is accusing front offices of.
Flores Allegations toward the New York Giants
Flore alleged the Giants only interviewed him last month for their HC vacancy for no other reason than compliance with the NFL’s Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for their open positions. The league has later amended that rule. It now says teams must hold an in-person interview with at least one external minority candidate for any GM or HC opening from outside their facility.
Flores explained he spoke with the Giants via Zoom in mid-January. This is prior to the Giants hiring former Buffalo Bills GM Joe Schoen as their new GM. The Giants co-director of player personnel Tim McDonnell texted Flores. McDonell began to give Flores false hope, saying that he hoped he would “come in and win the f-ing job.”
However, hours later, he received a few text messages from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Whom he worked under for ten years. In those texts, Belichick told Flores that he heard from “Buffalo and NYG that you are their guy.” Flores then responded to Bill B to clarify if this message was for him or Daboll. Belichick acknowledged his error and informed him that the Giants are going with Daboll.
“Sorry — I f—ed this up. I double-checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I’m sorry about that,” Belichick allegedly texted.
The Brian Flores lawsuit is definitely worth a read.
Includes a snapshot of a Bill Belichick text message (which mistakes Brian Flores for Brian Daboll) https://t.co/IMIx9wAZph pic.twitter.com/QDKEAJHees
— Ken Moriyasu (@kenmoriyasu) February 2, 2022
Flores allegations towards the Denver Broncos
Flores spoke similarly to the Denver Broncos during the interview process. When he arrived to speak with the Broncos for their HC job in 2019, he says that then Denver GM John Elway, among others, arrive to interview an hour late and hungover. Alleging they had been a bit intoxicated and drinking the night prior. While there are no super red flags popping out as far as moral issues, it does show a lack of professionalism and lack of respect for Flores.
“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.”
Miami Dolphins, Broncos, and Giants respond to allegations
However, all three responded separately to the allegations early this week.
The Giants said they were “pleased and confident” with their hiring process.
“We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates,” the team said. “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 Dolphins denied all allegations against them while noting they 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,” the Dolphins said.
The Broncos emphasized that the interview did start on time at 7:30 A.M. in Providence, Rhode Island. The interview lasted three and half hours and was conducted with five team execs.
What does Brian Flores wish comes out of this lawsuit?
The coach hopes to “shine a light on racial injustices that take place inside the NFL.” Among the areas Flores said he would like to see addressed:
- Increase the influence of Black individuals in hiring, and Black coordinators
- Increase “the objectivity” of hiring/terminating GMs, head coaches, and coordinators
- Incentivize hiring/retention of Black GMs, head coaches, and coordinators
- Transparency of pay for GMs, head coaches, and coordinators