Brian Flores claims he refused Dolphins’ million-dollar agreement that would ‘silence’ him
Flores was fired in January after three seasons with Miami
Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores revealed in an interview Tuesday that he declined to sign a nondisparagement agreement with the team when he was fired on Jan. 10.
As reported by The Washington Post, Flores appeared Tuesday on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel to discuss his lawsuit against the NFL. Flores, who was fired in January after three seasons with Miami, said he would not be able to speak his truth had he signed the separation agreement.
“Just signing that separation agreement would have really silenced me,” said Flores, who appeared on the show with his lawyers Doug Wigdor and John Elefterakis.
“To Coach Flores’ credit, he wasn’t gonna sign that, because he wanted – it wasn’t about the money,” Wigdor said. “If it was about the money he would have signed it. What he did instead was he filed a lawsuit so that he could help other coaches, now and in the future.”
Flores confirmed that Dolphins owner Steve Ross asked him to sign the NDA when he was fired by the league last month after leading the Miami Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years, the AP reported.
Flores — who was recently hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach — claims he participated in “sham” interviews with NFL teams attempting to comply with the Rooney Rule, which requires franchises to interview at least one minority candidate when filling head coach and general manager positions. He is suing the NFL and the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, and the New York Giants, “saying racist hiring practices by the league have left it racially segregated and managed like a plantation,” per AP.
Flores’ lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks “class-action status and unspecified damages” from the league and the three franchises, along with unidentified individuals, according to the AP report.
“Among the explosive aspects to his court filing was an allegation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him a $100,000 bonus for each defeat Miami took in 2019 to help improve the team’s draft position,” per The Washington Post.
He also claims Ross sought to violate the NFL’s anti-tampering rules by trying to recruit a quarterback on another team.
Ross previously issued a statement in response to Flores’ lawsuit, calling it “false, malicious, and defamatory.”
“I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let [the allegations] stand without responding,” Ross said. “I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. … We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully.”
When Gumbel asked Flores’ reaction to Ross’ statement, he replied: “Let’s see how this plays out. I’m the one who had the most to lose here.”
The Dolphins issued a statement Tuesday in response to Flores’ Real Time interview, saying, “This latest assertion by Brian Flores that Steve Ross mentioned an NDA to him is categorically false.”
“This just did not happen,” the team continued, “and we simply cannot understand why Brian continues this pattern of making unfounded statements that he knows are untrue. We are fully cooperating with the NFL investigation and look forward to all of the facts coming out which we are confident will prove that his claims are false and defamatory.”
Wigdor’s firm clapped back by sharing images online of a section of the NDA as well a letter stating Flores would no longer receive payments from the team due to his refusal to sign the agreement.
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