Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, a black man, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos and his former team, the Dolphins, accusing them of racial discrimination.
The suit was motivated by his recent interactions with the New York Giants.
On Jan. 27th, Flores sat with the Giants for what he now describes as a “sham” interview for a position as head coach.
He knows it’s a sham because four days before the interview, New England Patriot coach Bill Belichick mistakenly texted him to congratulate him for getting the job.
Look (*Language warning):
Here are the texts: pic.twitter.com/WjdLNRxfO1
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) February 1, 2022
The mistake, it turned out, was that Belichick had accidentally texted the wrong person. The one he’d meant to text was NFL player Brian Daboll, a white man.
“Sorry — I f–ked this up. I double checked & misread the text. I think they are naming Daboll. I’m sorry about that,” Belichick wrote back, apologizing.
Despite the strange texts, Flores went through the interview anyway, only to see Daboll predictably get the job the day after the interview. This, he believes, is no coincidence.
“Mr. Flores was forced to sit through a dinner with Joe Schoen, the Giant’s new General Manager, knowing that the Giants had already selected Mr. Daboll,” his class-action lawsuit reportedly reads.
“Much worse, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, Mr. Flores had to give an extensive interview for a job that he already knew he would not get — an interview that was held for no reason other than for the Giants to demonstrate falsely to the League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the public at large that it was in compliance with the Rooney Rule.”
The Rooney Rule is an NFL policy established in 2003 that requires teams to interview minorities when trying to fill a coaching position.
Flores’ accusation is that the Giants only interviewed him to meet this racial quota, and that the team had known from the beginning that it wanted Daboll for the job. This, he argues, is proof of racial discrimination.
But some critics say otherwise. They argue that the problem isn’t that the Giants didn’t hire him — it’s that the Rooney Rule had effectively forced them to interview him despite them knowing that they didn’t want him for the job:
Seems more like Rooney Rule is discriminatory insofar as it is a racial quota. A team complying with letter of quota despite knowing who it wants to hire is hardy discrimination. Defendants should seek to have RR declared unlawful.
— Booger (@Booger42069) February 1, 2022
The Rooney Rule in itself is racist. Let’s force teams to interview a black candidate. Sometimes it is a charade, and that’s on the league. I get it’s purpose, but nothing good ever comes out of forcing people to do something. When it’s not genuine, you get results like this
— Nick Shine (@BigNick_Sec325) February 1, 2022
Giants literally followed the NFL’s own Rooney Rule and are getting called racist for it. Can’t make this up. Just pathetic on all fronts. 🤦♂️
— NYG_PETE (@nyg_pete) February 2, 2022
Exuse me but Rooney Rule is Racist on itself. Making teams interview coaches because there Black is nonsense and out of date. If a team knows who they want to hire the rule is the rule so yes .. they go through motions. Can’t have it both ways. This is PATHETIC! pic.twitter.com/rKzNipr30V
— Frankie_King of Pugs👑Isiah 41:10 😇⛪ (@Frankie_da_pug) February 2, 2022
The Giants has for its part has denied that Daboll had already been chosen before the Jan. 27th interview.
“We are pleased and confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll. We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates. The fact of the matter is, Brain 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,” the team said in a statement.
“We are pleased and confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll. We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates. The fact of the matter is,
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) February 1, 2022
… “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.”
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) February 1, 2022
Flores’ lawsuit includes two other accusations.
He claims that during a separate head coach interview with the Denver Broncos three years ago, then-general manager John Elway, current president/CEO John Ellis and “others” allegedly “showed up an hour late to the interview” and “looked completely disheveled.”
“[I]t was obvious that they had [been] drinking heavily the night before. It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was in 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,” the suit reads.
Not mentioned in the suit is that Fangio was chosen to succeed Vance Joseph, a black man who’d been hired for the job two years earlier.
Vance Joseph, a black man, was the head coach 3 years ago. https://t.co/LGu79yA1pb
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) February 1, 2022
Like Joseph, Fangio went on to serve as coach for a couple years before being succeeded himself by Nathaniel Hackett.
The last accusation is directed at his former employer. Unlike the other two accusations, this ones appears to have substance. However, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with race.
The accusation is simply that the Dolphins’ owner, Stephen Ross, fired him after he refused to engage in a bunch of shady activities, including losing on purpose to manipulate the team’s “draft position,” and violating the league’s tampering rules.
Ross then lied to the press, claiming that the reason for Flores’ termination was because he was difficult to work with.
But instead of suing on the basis that Ross had tried to smear him for not engaging in shady activities, which is what actually happened, Flores has chosen to approach even this accusation from a racial standpoint.
“This is reflective of an all too familiar ‘angry black man’ stigma that is often casted upon Black men who are strong in their morals and convictions while white men are coined as passionate for those very same attributes,” the suit reads.
Again, it’s not clear what race has to do with this accusation …
View the suit below:
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