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‘We Need To Change The Hearts And Minds’: Brian Flores Discusses Lawsuit Against NFL

Wednesday morning, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores joined the crew on ESPN’s “Get Up,” to discuss the class action lawsuit against the NFL, the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and Dolphins. Flores is accusing the league of racial discrimination in its hiring practices. 

“Because we need change,” Flores said when asked why he filed the lawsuit.  “That was the number one reason. And I know there is a sacrifice, there’s risk to that. But, at the end of the day, we need change. I know many very capable black coaches, some on my staff, who if given an opportunity, are going to go and do a great job on their interview.” 

“We need to change the hearts and minds of the people making those decisions,” Flores continued. “That’s why we filed the lawsuit.”

Flores alleges that the Giants interviewed him while already intending to hire Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, in order to satisfy the Rooney Rule requirements. 

According to NFL communications, “the Rooney Rule is an NFL policy requiring every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidates.”

The suit shows text messages between Flores and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in which Belichick “mistakenly disclosed” to Flores that the Giants had decided to hire Daboll. Belichick reportedly believed he was texting Daboll instead of Flores. 

“Disbelief. Humiliation. That was a tough pill to swallow,” Flores said of his reaction to Belichick’s messages. “I have a great amount of respect for Bill and Brian Daboll … I was upset that I wasn’t getting a true opportunity to show what I can bring to a team.”

“Those text messages confirmed what a lot of us minority coaches already feel,” he said. “That we’re going into these interviews and they’re shams.”

Flores also alleges that in a 2019 interview for the Broncos head coaching position, “then-General Manager, John Elway, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis and others, showed up an hour late to the interview.”

“They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had [been] drinking heavily the night before,” the suit states. “It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule, and that the Broncos never had any intention to consider him as a legitimate candidate for the job. Shortly thereafter, Vic Fangio, a white man, was hired to be the Head Coach of the Broncos.”

In the suit, filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, Flores makes the claim that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pressured Flores to “tank” during the 2019 season, to the point that Ross offered Flores $100,000 for each loss during the season. He also claims that “Mr. Ross began to pressure Mr. Flores to recruit a prominent quarterback in violation of League tampering rules” at the end of the 2019 season. 

Flores was fired as head coach of the Dolphins in January, following two winning seasons as head coach in Miami. It was the first back-to-back winning seasons for the organization since the 2003 season. 

Flores claims that as a result of refusing to recruit the quarterback, he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.” The suit alleges that the Dolphins labeled Flores as “difficult to work with” through the media. 

“That was a conversation about not doing as much as we needed to do in order to win football games,” Flores said Wednesday. “Take a flight, go on vacation, I’ll give you $100,000 per loss — those were his exact words. I deal in truth, I tell the players this, as well. I’m gonna give you good news, bad news — but it’s going to be honest.”

“To disrespect the game like that, trust was lost, and there were certainly some strained relationships, and ultimately, I think that was my demise in Miami,” he continued. 

The Giants and Broncos have denied the allegations, as have the Dolphins. 

“We vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization,” the Dolphins said in a statement. “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.”

Flores is still in the running for the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans head coaching openings.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

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