Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is suing the NFL and teams he says have engaged in racist practices against Black coaches.
Flores named the league, the Dolphins, the Giants and the Broncos, as well as “John Doe teams 1-29” as defendants in the lawsuit, which is structured as a class action complaint, suggesting that Flores expects other coaches to join him as plaintiffs in the suit.
The suit makes explosive allegations about the Dolphins, his former employer. Flores says that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him an extra $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season, as Ross wanted the Dolphins to lose enough games to secure the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. (Although the Dolphins were widely perceived to be tanking early that season, they improved in the second half of the year and ended up with the fifth overall pick.)
Flores also alleges that Ross tried to get him to recruit “a prominent quarterback” who was under contract to another team, in violation of league tampering rules. Flores says he refused.
The lawsuit also says the Giants scheduled a sham interview with Flores last week to comply with the Rooney Rule, and that Flores learned that his interview was a mockery because his former boss, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, mistakenly texted him a congratulatory message, thinking that the Giants were going to hire him. In fact, Belichick later revealed that he had misunderstood another text he received and that he was actually told the Giants were hiring Brian Daboll. The Giants did, in fact, hire Daboll, and the texts suggest that they had already made that decision and scheduled the interview with Flores only because the Rooney Rule required them to interview a minority coach before they could make the Daboll hiring official.
Flores also says the Broncos put him through a similar sham interview three years ago, and that they never had any intention of considering him for the job. The Broncos hired Vic Fangio shortly after Flores’ interview.
Brian Flores released a statement saying, “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.”