By Seattle Barron, Clarion Arts and Entertainment Editor
On February 1, 2022, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against three different teams and the National Football League (NFL). The three teams are the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, and New York Giants. These are the different reasons as to why Flores has decided to sue each team and the NFL. With bribing and tampering from the Miami Dolphins, an unethical hiring process of the New York Giants, and an uncomfortable interview with the Denver Broncos.
There are two parts in the lawsuit that deal with the Dolphins. To understand the first part, know that each team’s record for how many games they won and lost affects their spot of selecting a new player on their team (their NFL draft pick for the next season of football). Essentially the worst performing team will be the first to pick out their new players, while the best performing team will be the last to pick.
Now looking at the lawsuit, Flores alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to bribe Flores to lose games so the Dolphins would have a better draft pick when next season came around.
The second part is Flores stating that Stephen Ross wanted him to recruit a ¨prominent quarterback¨. This was reportedly Tom Brady as he was set to be part of a free agency during the 2019 season. Flores refused as he didn’t want to break the tampering rules that the NFL has in place.
As for the New York Giants, Flores decided to apply for the vacant head coach spot for the Giants following being fired from the Dolphins. While Flores had taken up a job interview, there had been another person up for the position: Brian Daboll. The interview with Daboll took place before Flores’ interview.
All seemed to be fine until Flores got a text from New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, who congratulated Flores on getting the job even though Flores hadn’t been interviewed yet. With some clarification, Belichick stated that he meant to send his congratulations text to Daboll. This incident prompted Flores to call the Giants hiring process a “sham.”
Flores then made it clear that the reason the Giants made an offer to interview him was to accommodate the Rooney Rule, which states that NFL team owners have to interview at least one person of color if there is a vacant head coach spot. Keeping that in mind, Flores saw what the Giants did as solely following that rule and never considering him as a legitimate candidate. Not long after, Daboll was hired as head coach of the New York Giants.
Something not as well known is Flores doing an interview with the Denver Broncos for a head coaching spot as well. Flores stated that the general manager at the time and others had shown up to the interview “an hour late and hungover.”
The lawsuit also contains these points about what Flores wants to be recognized within the NFL.
“Increase influence of Black individuals in hiring”
“Increase ‘the objectivity’ of hiring/terminating General Managers (GMs), head coaches, and coordinators”
“Increase the number of black coordinators”
“Incentivize hiring/retention of Black GMs, head coaches, and coordinators”
“Transparency of pay for GMs, head coaches, and coordinators”
Most of these points are saying there needs to be an increase in hiring black individuals for higher positions while working with teams. There should also be a motivation to hire black individuals instead of just doing it because it’s required.
One statistic says that “70% of NFL players are black while team owners, managers, coaches, etc., are mostly white.” This seems to stick out since many of the people who we see put their health at risk are black while the majority of the people they have to follow are white.
Flores recognized that he may never be able to work in the NFL because people before him who spoke out about racial injustices publically were never able to get their jobs back. This has changed: as of February 19, Flores is now working as a defensive coach on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As the lawsuit is still up in the air, people can be assured of a few things. What Flores has stated has put a shock throughout the NFL. While the teams being accused have said that the allegations are false, there does seem to be a wave of opposition that says the NFL does have problems, especially when it comes to race.