Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores currently has a lawsuit against the NFL and three of its teams for discriminatory hiring and interview processes of coaching candidates. As part of that lawsuit, Flores included text messages from Bill Belichick accidentally sent to Flores that were meant for Brian Daboll.
In the text, Belichick congratulated Flores on seemingly being who the New York Giants wanted to hire as head coach. “Buffalo and NYG that you are their guy.” The accidental message was meant for Daboll, then the Bills’ offensive coordinator, which Belichick acknowledged when asked by Flores.
Belichick’s text to the wrong person became a key piece of evidence in the class-action suit against the Giants, Dolphins, Denver Broncos and the NFL. Even before the Giants held an in-person meeting with Flores, Belichick got word that Daboll would be hired. A day after New York spoke to Flores, it hired Daboll.
Flores, now the Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebackers coach, opened up about his feelings towards Belichick post-text during a recent appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast.
“I’m not mad. I mean, Bill did what a lot of us… He sent a text message to the wrong person. I mean, I’m certainly guilty of that before and, to me, I thought it was specific to the lawsuit in that, for me, it confirmed a lot of things that I thought were going on that I think a lot of Black, minority coaches think are going on.”Brian Flores on his feelings towards Bill Belichick post-accidental text, via I Am Athlete podcast
While the Giants have denied Flores’ allegations and stated he was a serious candidate to replace Joe Judge, Belichick’s text is a concern for the NFL. Many Black and minority coaches have felt that teams mock the Rooney Rule, interviewing them just to check a box before hiring the coach they really want.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the league has a diversity problem In the coaching ranks. While it’s something league executives want to find a solution to fix, hirings are ultimately made by team owners and Goodell works for them.
Flores still believes Belichick is the best head coach in NFL history, even detailing one of the things that separate him from so many of his peers.
“The one thing people don’t know about Bill, he listens. He listens. If you have, again you have to earn the right for him to listen. But if you have an idea, if you have a thought, if you have a matchup that you think we can win, he’ll listen. He’ll listen, he’ll take it in. He may add something to it, he may throw it out, but he’ll listen.”Brian Flores on New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
After delivering consecutive winning seasons in Miami, Flores now becomes an overqualified positional coach and senior defensive assistant. While he focuses on mentoring the Steelers’ linebackers, his civil suit against the NFL is moving forward.