Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores says lawsuit against the league is ‘bigger than football’
"This is about equal opportunity for qualified Black candidates, not just in football, but everywhere, in all industries," Flores told ESPN on Wednesday.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores says the number one reason he filed his class-action lawsuit against the league on Tuesday was to create change and increase opportunities for other aspiring Black coaches — even if it costs him his career.
“This isn’t about me. This is bigger than football,” Flores told ESPN Wednesday morning. “This is about equal opportunity for qualified Black candidates, not just in football, but everywhere, in all industries.”
The 40-year-old defensive guru who was fired by the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 10, spoke out publicly on Wednesday about some of the specific allegations made in the class-action lawsuit, which he filed on the first day of Black History Month.
The 58-page complaint filed in a New York federal court on Tuesday accuses the NFL of being “rife with racism,” and blasts team administrators for not doing more to hire and retain Black head coaches, coordinators, and general managers.
It includes screenshots of text messages sent to Flores by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in January, days before Flores was scheduled to interview for a head coaching position with the New York Giants.
Flores said Belichick’s messages were meant for new Giants head coach Brian Daboll who the team hired days before interviewing Flores, confirming his fears that some NFL interviews with minority coaches weren’t being done in good faith.
He told ESPN that realization left him in “disbelief” and feeling humiliated.
“I have a great amount of respect for Bill [Belichick] and Brian Daboll,” Flores said. “Brian’s a great coach. I think he’s going to do a great job as a head coach in this league. I was upset that I wasn’t getting a true opportunity to show what I can do, to show what I can bring to a team, which I feel is a lot.”
Flores also alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 during the 2019 NFL season for every game the team lost so it could improve the Dolphins’ draft position.
“To disrespect the game that way was something that, you know, trust was lost and there was certainly some strained relationships,” Flores said. “I think that was ultimately [what led] to my demise in Miami.”
Former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson, now the head coach at Grambling State University, once famed for its football program under legendary coach Eddie Robinson, was one of the first to back Flores.
In a tweet responding to Jackson, Kimberly Deimert, the executive director of Jackson’s foundation says that there are documents that can help Flores’ case.
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