Fired Miami Dolphins coach sues NFL, alleging racist hiring

Keywords Law / Lawsuits / NFL / Sports Business

Fired Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores sued the NFL and three of its teams Tuesday, saying racist hiring practices by the league have left it racially segregated and managed like a plantation.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court sought class-action status and unspecified damages from the league, the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants, along with unidentified individuals.

Flores was fired last month by Miami after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years. They went 9-8 in their second straight winning season, but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.

A message sent to the NFL for comment was not immediately returned.

“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 release put out by the law firm representing him in the case. “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.”

The lawsuit alleged that the league has discriminated against Flores and other black coaches for racial reasons, denying them positions as head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and quarterbacks coaches, as well as general managers.

“In certain critical ways, the NFL is racially segregated and is managed much like a plantation,” the lawsuit said.

“Its 32 owners—none of whom are Black—profit substantially from the labor of NFL players, 70% of whom are Black. The owners watch the games from atop NFL stadiums in their luxury boxes, while their majority-Black workforce put their bodies on the line every Sunday, taking vicious hits and suffering debilitating injuries to their bodies and their brains while the NFL and its owners reap billions of dollars,” it added.

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16 thoughts on “Fired Miami Dolphins coach sues NFL, alleging racist hiring

    1. You must have not read the article where he’s bringing facts and irrefutable evidence….

    2. It is on the front page of ESPN/CNN/Fox…. I assume the NY Post does not include such information.

      People usually do not blow up 8 figure careers just to “prove a point”

  1. Believe me Coach Flores, if a purple martian could put a winning squad on the field, any NFL team would hire it. Only W’s matter to owners.
    You’ve now screwed yourself by playing the race card.
    Good luck getting a job as casino greeter.

  2. This story leaves out other reports that he got a text from Belichick congratulating him on landing the Giants’ HC job – two days BEFORE he interviewed for it. The text was meant for Brian Daboll, to whom the Giants had already made the offer. So, the Giants violated the Rooney rule, as has so often been the case. The rule is that you should at least give qualified Black coaches a shot by interviewing them. Open and shut case.

    1. 1. The Rooney Rule is itself racist.
      2. Last I heard, Bill Belichick was not an official spokesperson for the New York Giants.
      3. You assume Flores was a “qualified” candidate – not sure how “qualified” people are that have been fired.

    2. Matthew, only a racist would think giving Black coaches (or, in this case, Latino) at least a fake beauty contest interview is racist.

      Of course, Belichick is not a spokesperson for the Giants, but it is obvious that he heard it from someone at the Giants’ office or from Daboll, so the fix was already in.

      Flores was an assistant coach with the Patriots for 10 years, the last of which he was elevated to defensive play caller (but not given the title of DC for some reason) when they won SB53 in 2018. In 2019, he was hired by the Dolphins having been also interviewed by the Packers, Broncos, and Browns for each of their vacant HC spots.

      First season, 2019, they started out 0-7, then finished 5-4 for a final record of 5-11. Not that unusual after taking over a 7-9 team and facing the Pats twice. Second season they were 10-6. Then 9-8 this last season. Overall record as HC was 24-25. Not great, but the play in a very tough division, especially this year – 4 of their games were against the Pats and Bills.

      Here’s an interesting part too: “Flores also alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pressured him to tank (deliberately lose games), offering him $100,000 for each game he lost in order for the Dolphins to get better draft picks for the following season, and to tamper with a quarterback before free agency. When he refused to tank, achieving two consecutive winning seasons, and refused to tamper, Ross fired him and lied about why.”

      And… “Flores also accused John Elway and Broncos management of conducting another sham head coach interview with him in 2019, arriving an hour late and appearing hungover after drinking heavily the night before.”

      Meanwhile, Daboll has had a lackluster career until he hooked up with the QB stud Josh Allen in Buffalo. Not saying Daboll isn’t qualified, just that it’s absurd to say Flores wasn’t worth a legitimate look.

  3. A lot of good coaches are not good as “head coaches” in the NFL. He had his shot at the top and isn’t good at it so what’s wrong with being a great assistant like so many before him?

    1. I never said Flores was the best candidate or that the Giants should have hired him. The point is the Giants violated the Rooney rule that all teams agreed to follow (even if Matthew doesn’t like the rule), presumably in good faith and not as a sham. The details provided so far appear to indicate it was a done deal to hire Daboll 5 days before Flores’ interview.

  4. Another example of why businesses sometimes hesitate in hiring blacks for positions. Pull the race card bs. Gives credence to the adage “if you hire them, you can’t fire them.

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