Brian Flores was adamant that his lawsuit filed against the NFL wasn’t needed to show that there is an issue with the league’s hiring practices that continues to keep out Black candidates out of prominent coaching and executive roles.
“We need a change,” Flores said on Wednesday while appearing on ESPN’s Get Up. “There’s a sacrifice, there’s risk to that, but at the end of the day, we need change. I know many capable Black coaches, some of my staff who I know if given an opportunity will do a great job… I would just hate for that to be a waste.
“I think we need to change the hearts and minds of the people making those decisions. That’s why we’re filing a lawsuit.”
Flores filed a class action suit, revealed on Tuesday, against the NFL, the New York Giants, and Miami Dolphins alleging racial discrimination.
Among the complaints, Flores is claiming that the Giants had already made their decision to hire Brian Daboll as their head coach before their final interview with the 40-year-old Brooklyn native — suggesting that it was more of a formality to meet the requirements of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for executive and coaching roles.
According to the suit, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick alerted Flores by mistakenly congratulating him for getting the Giants’ job via text — only to realize it was meant for Daboll.
“Disbelief. Humiliation,” Flores said he felt after getting those texts from Belichick. “That was a tough pill to swallow. I have a great amount of respect for Bill and Brian Daboll. Brian’s a great coach and 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 could bring to a team, which I think would be a lot.”
He still went on that final interview with the Giants regardless, even though he labeled it a “sham.”
“I believe that people are good and will do the right thing,” Flores said. “There’s no way to allow them to do the right thing or make it a fair situation unless I went there and show them I’m qualified, a leader of men, passionate about coaching and building relationships.
“I’m gifted to coach. I am, I know that. I wanted to show them that. I think they saw that in the interview.”
Flores also revealed that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to bribe him during the 2019 season by offering $100,000 for every game they lose in order to help their draft stock.
Ross also allegedly set up a meeting for Flores with a “prominent” quarterback, according to the suit, in hopes of luring to Miami, only to realize that it violated league tampering rules. Flores skipped the meeting and was allegedly “treated with disdain” by Ross until he was surprisingly fired by the Dolphins after the 2021 regular season despite winning eight of his last nine games of the season.
“I deal in truth. I tell that to the players as well,” Flores said. “Good news, bad news, it’s going to be the truth and I’m going to be honest. To disrespect the game that way… trust was lost… Ultimately, that led to my demise in Miami.”
Also, in a 2019 interview with the Denver Broncos, Flores alleged that president of football operations John Elway and other team representation arrived late and hungover.
Flores is still in the running for the head-coaching jobs of both the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints, alerting them of the lawsuit before its filing.
“I’m very hopeful,” Flores said on whether he not he believes he’ll coach in the NFL again. “But I understand the risks of filing a lawsuit like this… If change comes and if I never coach again and there’s change, it would be worth it.
“This isn’t about me. It’s bigger than football. It’s about equal opportunity for qualified black candidates, not just in football, but everywhere.”