John Elway Fires Back At Brian Flores Allegation He Was Drunk During Interview

The picture of John Elway that the Brian Flores racial discrimination lawsuit paints of Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway is an ugly one: Late, dishseveled and either drunk or hung over.

But Elway on Thursday fired back as the former Miami Dolphins coach representation of a 2019 interview he had as the Broncos general manager while the team was looking to fill a head coach vacancy that eventually went to Vic Fangio.

“While I was not planning to respond publicly to the false and defamatory claims by Brian Flores, I could not be silent any longer with my character, integrity and professionalism being attacked,” Elway said in a statement released through the Broncos on Thursday.

“I took Coach Flores very seriously as a candidate for our head coaching position in 2019 and enjoyed our three-and-a-half hour interview with him. Along with the rest of our group, I was prepared, ready and fully engaged during the entire interview as Brian shared his experience and vision for our team.

“It’s unfortunate and shocking to learn for the first time this week that Brian felt differently about our interview with him.

“For Brian to make an assumption about my appearance and state of mind early that morning was subjective, hurtful and just plain wrong. If I appeared “disheveled” as he claimed, it was because we had flown during middle of night — immediately following another interview in Denver — and were going on a few hours sleep to meet the only window provided.

“I interviewed Brian in good faith, giving him the same consideration and opportunity as every other candidate for our head coaching position in 2019.”

Flores in his suit said Elway and then Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis and other, “showed up an hour late to the interview.”

He added, “It was obvious that they had [been] drinking heavily the night before. It was was 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.”

This is interesting because Flores contends to know what Elway and others in the Denver party intended. It’s one thing to say that in a suit. It’s another thing to prove that in a civil court.

Elway joins the NFL, the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in providing a statement refuting the claims Flores makes in his suit.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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