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Brian Flores suing NFL, multiple teams for alleged racism in hiring process

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has been among the hottest NFL head coaching candidates of the cycle with interest from the New York Giants, among other teams.

Flores, 40, was shockingly fired by the Dolphins last month after leading the team to consecutive winning seasons. A perceived rift with owner Stephen Ross and general manager Chris Grier led to his departure from South Beach.

As for the Giants’ interest in Flores, they just recently officially announced former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their next head coach.

Brian Flores is now taking issue with the hiring process by filing a lawsuit against the Giants and the NFL, claiming racism on the part of the entities.

In a class action suit filed in the United States District Court of Southern New York, Flores is the named plaintiff against the National Football League, New York Football Giants, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and other unnamed teams.

Related: Ranking NFL head coach openings

Brian Flores files lawsuit against New York Giants, NFL

Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
Dec 19, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores runs off the field after winning the game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The suit claims that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick sent Flores a message three days before his interview with the Giants that they were already hiring Daboll.

“Sorry — I f**ked this up. I double checked and misread the test. I think they are naming Brian Daboll,” Belichick allegedly said in the message. “I’m sorry about that.”

As for the details of the lawsuit, it’s clear Flores and his representation believes that systemic racism has played a role in the hiring process.

“NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers. Over the years, the NFL and its 32-member organizations (the “Teams”) have been given every chance to do the right thing,” the suit read. “Rules have been implemented, promises made—but nothing has changed. In fact, the racial discrimination has only been made worse by the NFL’s disingenuous commitment to social equity.”

As of right now, there’s only one black head coach in the NFL. That’s Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As the suit notes, there’ a mere four black offensive coordinators in the league, too.

As for Brian Flores, he released a statement after the former head coach’s suit in New York became public record.

“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,” Flores said. “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.”

As for the Giants, they released a statement after the suit became public record.

“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 statement read. “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.”

The NFL also released a statement, denying Flores’ allegations.

“The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations. Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit.”

NFL statement on Brian Flores lawsuit (February 1, 2022)

We’ll obviously have a lot more on this story as it develops. For now, the start of the offseason for many NFL teams is now ripe with controversy.

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