Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores suing NFL, every franchise

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Tue, February 1st 2022, 4:21 PM EST)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WPEC) — The former coach of the Miami Dolphins is suing the National Football League and each of its franchises for racial discrimination.

Axios first reported the news.

Last month, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross fired Brian Flores.

According to Axios, Flores claims New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick told him the New York Giants head coaching job had gone to someone else. But Flores was scheduled to interview for the job three days later. Flores called the Giants interview process a “sham” through which he was “humiliated.”

Axios reports the suit was filed in federal court in New York and was filed as a proposed class action.

For decades, the NFL had been criticized for its lack of Black coaches. The NFL’s Rooney Rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs. The question is whether those interviews are serious.

The lawsuit also reportedly alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pressured him to pursue a prominent NFL quarterback in 2019. When Flores refused to be a part of that, Ross allegedly invited Flores to his yacht for lunch, and that same quarterback showed up, prompting Flores to storm out. The lawsuit also claims that Ross allegedly said he’d pay Flores $100,000 for every Dolphins loss in the 2019 season, what would indicate that he was pressuring him to tank for a better draft pick.

The Dolphins released this statement to our news partners at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“We are aware of the lawsuit through the media reports that came out this afternoon. We vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect. We will be withholding further comment on the lawsuit at this time.“

Brian Flores is suing the NFL and every franchise for racial discrimination. (WPEC)

Axios also reports that Flores alleges before getting the Dolphins job, he interviewed with the Denver Broncos. But then-general manager John Elway was an hour late for that meeting and appeared to be hungover.

On Jan. 10, WPEC News reported Ross indicated there was a disconnect between Flores and the Dolphins organization.

“I’ve been looking at this over three years now and watching the organization grow,” Ross said. “I think an organization can only function if it is collaborative and it works well together. I don’t think that we were really working well as an organization that it would take to really win consistently at the NFL level.“

The firing was unexpected. The Dolphins had back-to-back winning seasons under Flores.

Flores coached the Dolphins for three seasons. The Dolphins finished the season 9-8, missing the playoffs. However, Flores went 24-25 in Miami, not making the playoffs in any of those seasons but finishing this year with eight wins in the final nine games.

Miami started 0-7 in his first season, 1-3 last season and 1-7 this season. But the team always found ways to get better as the season went along, going 20-8 in games played in November, December and January under Flores.

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