Is ex Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores right to sue NFL for racial discrimination?
- On February 1, 2022, former Dolphin’s head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams: the Dolphins, Broncos, and Giants for alleged discrimination during his interview process and firing from Miami. The lawsuit claims “the NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers.”
- In a statement from the Miami Dolphins on January 10, 2022, Flores was fired from the role of head coach. Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross “determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest.”
- Flores alleged that Ross offered him $100,000 to lose games during the season, and when he rejected the offer, was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.” Flores was also “pressured” into recruiting a quarterback against the NFL’s hiring rules.
- According to the 2021 Racial and Gender Report Card from the Institute For Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), The NFL received a B+ for racial hiring, a C+ for gender hiring, and an overall B grade.
Last month, Brian Flores was fired as Miami Dolphins head coach and has now initiated a lawsuit against the NFL and two teams for alleged racist hiring practices. But he is wrong to file the lawsuit for several reasons.
His tenure at Miami for three years was abysmal as the past two seasons, the team went 9-8, and Flores had an overall losing record of 24-25. Miami never made it to the playoffs while Flores was the coach. Throughout NFL history, teams have fired coaches for having a losing record and/or not making the playoffs, so off the bat, Flores' record shows he did a poor job as a coach.
However, in his class-action lawsuit, he makes many allegations against the NFL and several NFL teams, including blatant racism towards African Americans, wrongful termination, enduring a poor interview with John Elway, whom Flores reported as disheveled and late. He also claimed he was asked to intentionally lose a game so that Miami could pick a solid draft pick. Bribery and tampering with games are serious allegations for the NFL. And Brian is hoping other Black coaches will also be part of the lawsuit.
The NFL and other NFL teams have not said much in regards to this lawsuit, but they do have a policy of interviewing two minority candidates for every position, which counters the racism allegations. As of now, it is a question of what Brian says versus NFL says. Of course, the NFL and other teams have denied these allegations. So far, Brian has not produced any concrete evidence to back up his allegations, and experts suggest it is just a case of sour grapes and using the black race card when things do not work out.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is paving the way for future Black coaches in his decision to sue the NFL, risking his future in the league by speaking out. The league has a history in black-balling minorities that chose to speak out against the league's injustices, but seeing as the NLF has gone from three Black head coaches to just one, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is worth sounding the alarm over.
In his lawsuit, Flores alleges The New York Giants granted him an interview simply to comply with the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires minority head coaches to be interviewed. Text messages from Flores' former employer, Bill Belichick, accidentally revealed that the Giants had already decided on another head coach and strictly conducted the interview to comply with the rule. It is not a coincidence that the Giants interviewed two White coaches before interviewing Flores and Leslie Frazier, another Black coach.
Likewise, Flores has proof that Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross attempted to bribe him to lose games. Flores took over the team in the midst of a rebuilding process, and he was encouraged to force the team to lose to achieve a higher pick in the next year's draft. Flores refused to risk his player's health by sending them out to play with the sole intention of losing for future success. He proceeded to lead the Dolphins to their first consecutive winning seasons since 2003.
The decision to fire Flores clearly does not stem from his team's performance on the field, as the team has achieved the most success that it has in a decade. Brian Flores' decision to sue the NFL will reveal the ugly truths that the league has been concealing for years.