The recently fired Dolphins head coach is filing a massive suit.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Weprin reports former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who recently wasn’t selected to fill the Giants head coaching role, is suing Big Blue and the NFL for alleged “racism in hiring.”
Oh wow, Brian Flores suing the NFL and NY Giants, alleging racism in hiring. Includes private texts from Bill Belichick https://t.co/4FVAlelLQU
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) February 1, 2022
Former Miami HC Brian Flores is suing the NFL, the Giants, the Dolphins and the Broncos for alleged “racism in hiring”, and he includes texts from Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick in the suit as evidence. Lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court seeking unspecified damages from NFL.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2022
Allegedly, the Giants had already made the decision to hire Brian Daboll as head coach before interviewing Flores for the same role to comply with Rooney Rule requirements. The Rooney Rule is a league policy that states each team with a vacant head coaching role must interview at least one ethnic-minority candidate for the position.
Flores was apparently able to gain knowledge of this via text messages from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, which were meant to be sent to Daboll instead (both Daboll and Flores have worked under Belichick in the past).
These alleged texts were included in the suit.
Former #Dolphins HC Brian Flores is suing the NFL and the Giants alleging racism in their hiring process. Flores has texts from Bill Belichick congratulating him for getting the job — but Flores had yet to interview. The text was meant for Brian Daboll. https://t.co/gmPUw9gHIq pic.twitter.com/tyTztTf3br
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 1, 2022
Both the Giants and Flores have released statements on the matter.
A statement from the Giants on the Brian Flores lawsuit: pic.twitter.com/l4jgn6KVZM
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) February 1, 2022
“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 his statement, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. “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.”
Also in the suit…
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross allegedly bribed Flores $100,000 for every loss during the 2019 season in an attempt to tank for a premium draft choice.
Flores says that Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, offered to pay him $100,000 for every loss during 2019 season to help the team get a better draft spot. Was mad when they kept winning.
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) February 1, 2022
Ross is also accused of trying to involve Flores in tampering procedures to lure a “prominent quarterback” to the Dolphins following the 2019 season. When Ross attempted to set up an impromptu meeting with Flores and the quarterback on Ross’ yacht, the now-former Dolphins head coach departed the boat. Afterward, Flores was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with,” per the suit.
The Broncos are additionally alleged to only have interviewed Flores for their then-vacant head coaching job in 2019 to comply with Rooney Rule requirements.
Before hiring Vic Fangio, various members of the Denver organization (including then-general manager John Elway and president/CEO Joe Ellis) arrived an hour late to the interview with Flores, and “it was obvious that they had been drinking heavily the night before,” per the suit. The suit also states, “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.”
Brian Flores lawsuit says that Steven Ross said he’d pay Flores 100K for every Dolphins loss in 2019 season to tank. Also provides text message evidence from Bill Belichick that Giants already decided to hire Brian Daboll when he came in for what he calls a “sham interview.” https://t.co/ft1qQ8T2NO pic.twitter.com/bfRbF5ms5U
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 1, 2022
The NFL’s statement
The league released a statement on the matter Tuesday night.
“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 statement reads. “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.”