Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, still awaiting a head coach interview with the Houston Texans, on Tuesday filed a suit in Manhattan Federal Court seeking unspecified damages over the “racism in hiring” practices of the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and, indeed, all 32 NFL teams and the league.
In an action that’s akin to pressing the nuclear button, Flores alleged in his suit that his experience with multiple NFL teams displayed behavior against him because he’s a black man.
Flores in his suit against the Giants contends they hired new coach Brian Daboll and disclosed that decision to third parties during a time Flores was still scheduled to interview for the job.
The 58-page suit document includes text messages Flores got from former New England Patriots employer Bill Belichick, for whom Flores worked as an assistant for 14 years, outlining how he (Belichick) had been informed of Daboll’s hiring before Flores interviewed.
“Sorry — I f—– this up. I double checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I’m sorry about that. BB.”
That is a text message exchange with Patriots coach Bill Belichick that Flores includes in the suit. That text came to Flores three days before his interview with the Giants.
The NFL released a statement minutes after news of the lawsuit got out.
“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. 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.”
Flores, in his suit, draws back the curtain on the Dolphins’ 2019 tank season.
He alleges in 2019 “he refused his owner’s directive to tank for the first pick in the draft.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told him (Flores) he’d pay $100,000 for every loss and when the Dolphins rallied late in the year to win 5 of the final 9 games, general manager Chris Grier passed along that “Steve” was “mad” because Flores was winning and that was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”
Flores was fired by Ross the day after the 2021 season and the club’s owner cited poor collaboration within his organization as a reason for the firing.
Well, Flores says things got sideways as early as the winter of 2019 because the suit alleges Ross began to pressure Flores to recruit a prominent QB in violation of league tampering rules. Flores, the suit claims, refused to comply.
Flores recounts that after that season, early in 2020, Ross invited his coach for lunch aboard his yacht. And suddenly the coach learned the prominent QB in question was arriving at the marina, too as a “set up” by Ross.
Flores said he left. Flores contends in his suit that after he left that meeting, he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”
It should be noted that Tom Brady became a free agent in the spring of 2020 and Flores worked with and around Brady at New England. Ross, who is friendly with Brady from their ties to the University of Michigan, said in January of 2020 he didn’t think Brady would be a fit because of the quarterback’s desires to win immediately compared to Miami’s young roster.
That’s not all.
Flores contends he was “defamed throughout the media and the League as he was labeled by the Dolphins brass as someone who was difficult to work with.” And, he contends, “This is reflective of an all too familiar angry black man stigma that is often casted upon black men who are strong in their morals and convictions while white men are coined as passionate for those very same attributes.”
Flores also contends his 2019 interview with the #Broncos was also a “sham interview.” He said then-GM John Elway and President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis showed up to interview an hour late and “they looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious they had been drinking the night before.”