Former Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores Launches A Lawsuit Against The NFL and Three Teams

Brian Flores, the former coach of the Miami Dolphins, has sued the NFL and three teams alleging discrimination regarding his interview processes with the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and his firing by the Miami Dolphins.

The lawsuit was filed in the New York City federal court on Tuesday and is seeking class-action status. 

Flores claims that the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to entice him to lose games on purpose, even going as far as offering him $100,000 for every loss. In addition, Flores stated that as his team won more games throughout the season, general manager Chris Grier conveyed that Ross was furious that the team’s success was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

Flores also alleges that Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback”, even though doing this would blatantly violate the NFL’s tampering rules. The former coach immediately refused and was shocked when Ross invited him to a yacht luncheon where he was informed that the quarterback was ‘conveniently’ arriving for an impromptu meeting.

Flores claims that the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to entice him to lose games on purpose, even going as far as offering him $100,000 for every loss. In addition, Flores stated that as his team won more games throughout the season, general manager Chris Grier conveyed that Ross was furious that the team’s success was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

After leaving the yacht and refusing the meeting, Flores stated that he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”

Brian Flores was fired on January 10th, despite leading the Dolphins through their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2003.

Flores also alleges that he was discriminated against during his interview process with the New York Giants. He argues that the Giants only offered him an interview for their head-coaching position for no other reason than to comply with the NFL’s Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule requires all NFL teams to interview at least one in-person interview with an external minority candidate for any general manager or head coach opening. 

Flores stated that his interview with the Giants was a “sham”, highlighting the fact that they hired Brian Daboll for the position only one day after his interview.

This was unfortunately not the first time that Flores has experienced racism within the NFL hiring process. In 2019, he went through a similar experience while interviewing for the head-coaching job with the Broncos. 

Flores stated that the Denver general manager John Elway arrived at his interview an hour late and hungover, openly stating that he had been “drinking heavily the night before”.

The New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, and Denver Broncos all separately responded to these allegations on Tuesday. 

The Giants press release stated "We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates," the team said. "The fact of the matter is, Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour. Ultimately, we hired the individual we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach."

Similarly, the Dolphins denied all allegations and stated that they are “proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization”.

In the lawsuit stated that he hopes to "shine a light on the racial injustices that take place inside the NFL."

In addition, he would like to address the following issues:

  •  Increase the influence of Black individuals in hiring
  • Increase "the objectivity" of hiring/terminating GMs, head coaches, and coordinators
  • Increase the number of Black coordinators
  • Incentivize hiring/retention of Black GMs, head coaches, and coordinators
  • Transparency of pay for GMs, head coaches, and coordinators

In a statement released by Flores’ law firm, he stated "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. 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."

Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin is committed to fighting against racial discrimination. If you or a loved one have faced any sort of discrimination, please contact our New York attorneys for a free consultation today. Our experienced team has over 50 years of experience and will fight for you to get the justice you deserve. 

 

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