“Risking Coaching The Game That I Love” | NFL Coach Brian Flores Puts Career On The Line “Because We Need Change”

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

There are watershed moments in life where someone risks it all to benefit the greater good.

Those moments have produced prophets and pariahs in history alike as those who are called know the jeopardy involved.

Enter NFL Coach Brian Flores.

Coach Flores’ Stand

The coach, who says he understands the risks involved and is doing this because “we need change”, has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams: the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, and his former team, the Miami Dolphins.

Flores alleges discrimination regarding his interview processes with the three teams, especially his firing last month by the Miami Dolphins. Flores was a coach in South Florida from 2019-to-2021.

On Tuesday, the 58-page lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court, showing that Flores is seeking class-action status. Dozens of other Black NFL figures could be eligible to join the suit.

The Receipts

Flores alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to incentivize him to “tank” or purposely lose games shortly after being hired in 2019.

According to reports, allegedly, Ross offered Flores $100,000 for every Dolphins loss that season. In addition, Flores said that he was penalized for winning.

Flores contends that as the team won games late in the season, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told him that Ross was “mad” and that success was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

The Yacht Compromise

Additionally, Flores alleges that the team owner tried to influence him unduly in major player recruitment decision-making. According to reports, Ross pressured him into recruiting a “prominent quarterback” at the end of the 2019 season; however, the coach would not violate the NFL’s tampering rules.

Black Coaches Lose For Winning | Brian Flores Claims Dolphins Owner Offered Him Money To Tank Games, Fired Him When He Won Too Much

Ross ultimately allegedly invited Flores to a yacht for lunch in the winter of 2020, informing him that the sought-after quarterback was arriving “conveniently” for an impromptu meeting.

However, Flores refused to meet the quarterback and left the yacht. Flores claims he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”

Bill Belichick’s Blunder

The most scandalous revelation was the text message exchange between Flores and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Although he spoke with the New York Giants, via Zoom, on Jan. 18, the team finalized his interview date for Jan. 27 after their new GM was hired on Jan. 23.

He said Giants co-director of player personnel Tim McDonnell texted him that day that he hoped he would “come in and win the f-ing job.”

“Sorry, I F–ed This Up”

Hours later, Flores’ lawsuit alleges, he received a series of text messages from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, a coach he worked under for ten years in New England.

Belichick texted Flores that he heard from “Buffalo and NYG that you are their guy.”

When Flores asked Belichick to clarify if he meant to send the text to Brian Daboll, also in the running at the time, Belichick realized his mistake and confirmed the text was meant for Daboll.

Brian Flores Flexing His Black Coaching Magic With Miami Dolphins | Started 1-7, Now In Seventh Playoff Spot

“Sorry, I f—ed this up. I double checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I’m sorry about that,” Belichick allegedly texted. Flores’ interview was three days later.

Flores was the first minority candidate to interview in person, and he alleges that it was a “sham” meeting. Eventually, New York hired Daboll a day later.

Drunk In Denver

Flores also alleges that when he interviewed for the Broncos head-coaching job in 2019; general manager John Elway arrived an hour late and hungover from “drinking heavily the night before.”

Brian Flores is from Brownsville, Brooklyn, and there is a phrase that has stayed there for decades: “I’m from Brownsville, never ran, never will.”

Known as a man of integrity, Flores has placed his career on the line to provoke change in the face of adversity.

Flores Speaks

“We didn’t have to file a lawsuit for the world to understand that there are issues in hiring and firing,” said Flores on the ESPN program “Get Up.”
“We need change. I know many very capable Black coaches. Some of my staff if given an opportunity, when given an opportunity are going to do a great job on their interview. We need a change.”

When Colin Kaepernick took a knee, it was almost inevitable that he would become a target as a threat to the NFL’s veil of integrity. However, his sacrifice led to more inclusion, more conversation, and Kaepernick ultimately was validated with a settlement from the NFL.

Welcome To Black History Month

The good news: Flores has the credibility, and timing is also on his side. With the email scandal and more within the NFL system, Flores is not living in a vacuum with the allegations. His perspective has been dissected all season long regarding Black head coaching hires.

Brian Flores Being Fired Was A Shock| Where Will Black HC & GM Candidates Land?

Brian Flores kicked off Black History Month, intending to change the game. No longer is the Rooney Rule enough. Now Flores wants actual institutional change, not window dressing.


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.