/  02.01.2022

Brian Flores has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams — the Dolphins, the Giants and the Broncos — alleging that he was discriminated against in the interview processes for several coaching positions after he was fired as head coach in Miami.

According to ESPN, the 58-page suit claims Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tried to encourage Flores to lose games on purpose shortly after he was hired in 2019. The former head coach says Ross offered him $100,000 for every game the team lost that season. As the team won games later in the season, Chris Grier, general manager of the Dolphins, told Flores that Ross was upset that his on-field success was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

Flores also claimed that Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback” as the 2019 season wrapped up. The coach declined because he did not want to violate the NFL’s regulations on tampering. Flores said he was then invited to go on a yacht with Ross for lunch in 2020, where the “prominent quarterback” was “conveniently” coming to the marina for a spontaneous meeting. After refusing to meet with the player, Flores said he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”

He was then terminated from the team on Jan. 10, 2022, despite leading the organization to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 2003.

In the lawsuit, Flores also said that his interview with the Giants was a “sham” after he accidentally received a series of texts from Patriots coach Bill Belichick about how the Giants wanted to hire former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for the position.

“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,” Flores said in a release on Tuesday (Feb. 1). “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.”

Flores wants the NFL to address several areas, including increasing the influence of Black individuals in hiring; increasing the number of Black head coaches, general managers (GMs) and coordinators in the league; and transparency of pay for those individuals.

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