NFL

Brian Flores discusses NFL lawsuit, calls legal action bigger than himself: ‘We’re at a fork in the road’

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is suing the NFL, the Dolphins, the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, alleging racial discrimination. The lawsuit claims that Flores went through multiple “sham” head coaching interviews and was treated unfairly by the Dolphins during his three seasons in Miami.

On Wednesday morning, Flores and his legal counsel joined CBS Mornings to discuss the lawsuit. One of the occurrences that pushed Flores to file the suit had to do with his former boss and current New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Three days before Flores was set to officially interview with the Giants for their head coaching position, Belichick accidentally texted Flores, congratulating him on winning the job. Belichick thought he was texting Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who ended up getting the position. 

Basically, Flores was accidentally told before he had even interviewed for his dream job that he would not be in consideration. 

“It was a range of emotions,” Flores said about this realization. “Humiliation, disbelief, anger. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am in football to become a head coach. Put 18 years in this league, and to go on what was a sham interview, I was hurt.” 

The lawsuit is not just about Flores being disrespected, as the 58-page filing brings up several other instances of Black coaching candidates being treated unfairly. Established in 2003, the Rooney Rule requires teams looking for new head coaches to interview minority candidates. Flores felt as though teams were just checking boxes by interviewing some Black head coaches. 

“The Rooney Rule is intended to give minorities an opportunity to sit down in front of ownership,” Flores said. “But I think what it’s turned into is an instance where guys are just checking a box. And that’s been the case — I’ve been on some interviews in the past where I’ve had that feeling, there’s always no way to know for sure — and I know I’m not alone in that.”

Flores, who is still a candidate for open head coaching jobs, said that this lawsuit is “much bigger than coaching.” He said he wrestled with the decision to file the lawsuit, but realized he had an opportunity to make a change. 

“I understand the risk, and yes, it was a difficult decision and I went back and forth,” Flores said. “And like I said, I love coaching, I do. It’s something that I’m passionate about, it brings me joy and I love helping young people reach their potential and become the best versions of themselves. I’m gifted to do that. But this is bigger than that.” 

“We’re at a fork in the road right now. We’re either gonna keep it the way it is, or we’re gonna go in another direction and actually make some real change.”



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