UPDATED 2/3, 6:35 p.m. ET: The New York Giants released a statement denying the allegations brought forth in the lawsuit filed by Brian Flores.
“Brian Flores has raised serious issues in the filing of his complaint,” the team said in the statement. “The specific claims against the Giants and Mr. Flores’ allegations about the legitimacy of his candidacy for our head coach position are disturbing and simply false.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also responded to Flores’ allegations, writing, “I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory.”
Ross continued, “We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization, from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims.”
See original story below.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is suing the NFL, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, and the Dolphins for “racism in hiring,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
There are a number of troubling accusations in the 58-page lawsuit, including one in which Flores alleges that Dolphins owner Steven Ross said he’d pay Flores $100,000 for every Dolphins loss in the 2019 season. When Flores ended up winning games late in the season, he was informed that Ross was not pleased with him for essentially worsening the team’s draft position.
Flores also alleges that when he interviewed with the Broncos in 2019, team executives John Elway and Joe Ellis showed up “disheveled,” as it was “obvious they had been drinking the night before.” The Broncos would go on to hire Vic Fangio.
Most recently, Flores was up for the Giants head coaching job, but ultimately believes they brought him in to comply with the league’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates throughout the hiring process. The suit even includes text messages to Flores from Bill Belichick, in which the Pats coach accidentally congratulated Flores for landing the job, thinking that he was texting Brian Daboll, who actually got the job.
“Sorry – I fucked this up,” Belichick wrote when he realized his mistake. “I double checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I’m sorry about that.”
“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 statement about the lawsuit. “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’ lawyers, Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis, also released a statement in which they called it a “privilege” to represent the former NFL coach.
The NFL released its own statement in response to Flores’ lawsuit.
The league said it’s committed to “equitable employment practices” and called Flores’ suit “without merit.”
The Broncos also responded to the lawsuit via an official statement.
Flores was fired by the Dolphins after this past season, despite his team posting back-to-back winning records. The amount in damages he’s seeking has not been specified.