Brian Flores is suing the NFL and the New York Giants for what he alleges was racism during the head coach hiring process.
Flores used texts from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as evidence. Belichick mistakingly congratulated Flores on being hired as the Giants' head coach when it was actually Brian Daboll. The exchange occurred three days before Flores' interview with the Giants took place.
Belichick: "Sounds like you have landed -- congrats!!!"
Flores: "Did you hear something I didn't hear?"
Flores: "I interview Thursday. I think I have a shot at it."
Belichick: "Got it - I hear from Buffalo and NYG that you are their guy. Hope it works out if you want it to!!
Flores: "That's definitely what I want! I hope you're right coach. Thank you."
Flores: "Coach, are you talking to Brian Flores or Brian Daboll. Just making sure."
Belichick: "Sorry - I f---d this up. I double checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Daboll. I'm sorry about that. BB
Flores: "Thanks Bill."
The lawsuit goes on to point out the flaws in the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior positions.
"The Rooney Rule is also not working because management is not doing the interviews in good-faith, and it therefore creates a stigma that interviews of Black candidates are only being done to comply with the Rooney Rule rather than in recognition of the talents that the Black candidates possess," the complaint reads.
The Giants released the following statement on the matter:
“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, 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.”
Flores also released a statement, via the law firm representing him in the case:
"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. 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 complaint includes plenty of other allegations, including Flores accusing Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of offering to pay him $100,000 for every loss during the 2019 season to help the team get a better draft spot. Ross would become "mad" at Flores when the team won games.
Flores was fired from his role as Dolphins head coach on Jan. 10 after three seasons with the team. The former Patriots assistant has been considered a strong candidate for several head coaching vacancies heading into 2022.