The NFL is in hot water over discrimination allegations.
Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores is suing the NFL and three teams – the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Giants— alleging discrimination in the interview processes with Denver and New York and his firing from Miami last month.
“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,” said Flores said in a statement put out by the Wigdor firm. “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.”
According to Flores, in 2019 Dolphins owner Steve Ross tried to encourage him to lose games, allegedly offering him $100,000 for every game lost that season and was met with a dissatisfactory review from Ross after wins from the football team.
Flores also alleges that Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback” at the end of the 2019 season which Flores would refuse so as not to violate the NFL’s tampering rules. Ross would then go on to invite Flores on a private yacht in 2020 where the quarterback was set up to arrive at the same marina for an impromptu meeting.
After leaving the yacht and refusing the meeting, Flores says he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”
Flores was fired by the organization in January of this year, a confusing defeat seeing as the Dolphins just had led the team through their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2003.
Flores would later interview with the New York Giants for a head-coaching position. The former coach stated that he was only interviewed for no other reason than compliance with the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for their open positions. Flores ended up being passed up for the position despite several claims from colleagues that the head-coaching position was his.
Flores’s lawsuit also alleges a similar experience when interviewing for the Denver Broncos in 2019. Flores says that then-Denver general manager John Elway and others arrived to the interview an hour late and hungover, alleging they had been “drinking heavily the night before.”
All three NFL teams have denied all allegations.
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