“Somebody’s Just A Liar” | Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Claps Back, But Bart Scott Says NFL Owners Tanking Games Isn’t A Revelation

Brian Flores’ accusations of improper propositions for better draft prospects by the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has elicited a response.

On Wednesday night, Ross issued a statement calling Flores’ revelations “false, malicious and defamatory” and has vowed to protect his “personal integrity” and the Miami Dolphins organization.

Stephen Ross Speaks

“With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding,” Ross said in a statement given to the media.

“I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious, and defamatory. We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully.

“I welcome that investigation, and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization from these baseless, unfair, and disparaging claims.”

Flores Stand

Flores filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against the NFL and three teams: the New York Giants, the Miami Dolphins, and Denver Broncos.

Flores alleges racial discrimination in the respective teams and the NFL’s overall hiring practices specifically for coaches.

Additionally, Flores’ suit sheds light on little-known practices in the NFL where coaches are asked to “tank” games to get a better draft position. According to Flores, Ross offered him $100,000 per Dolphins loss during the 2019 season to boost the Dolphins’ draft pick value.

Standing On Integrity

Miami fired Flores last month after three seasons with the team, including consecutive winning campaigns in 2020 and 2021. According to Ross, Flores was fired over issues with the “collaboration” within the organization.

However, Flores feels that “collaboration” is code for his refusal to sabotage games in 2019.

“Somebody’s just a liar, right? This is one man’s word against the other but to believe that this is something that isn’t common practice would be absurd as well,” said Bart Scott on ESPN’s “Get Up” Thursday morning.

The NFL also defended itself by stating that Flores’ allegations were “without merit.” However, the league comment seems to address only the discrimination in hiring practices.

The NFL’s Tricky Predicament

Reports are that the league will investigate the tanking proposition that Flores claims Ross offered during the 2019 season, when the Dolphins finished 5-11.

“That was a conversation about not doing as much as we needed to do in order to win football games,” he said. “Take a flight, go on vacation, I’ll give you $100,000 per loss — those were his exact words. I deal in truth, I tell the players this, as well. I’m gonna give you good news, bad news — but it’s going to be honest.

“To disrespect the game like that, trust was lost, and there were certainly some strained relationships, and ultimately, I think that was my demise in Miami.”

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A League Of Their Own

The NFL acts as an organizational steward to the ownership groups within the league.

“Understanding that teams have done this for years,” Scott continued on “Get Up.” “The reason why you can see that they (NFL) recognize this is because they started making conference games at the end of the schedule so you can avoid the anti-tanking laws.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell works on behalf of the owners and upholds their wishes at all costs.

Ross clapping back at Flores is on-brand with the NFL, which said first that the claims “are without merit.” However, everyone agrees that the lack of diversity in the coaching ranks is a significant issue.

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The Receipts

Currently, only Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the only Black head coach in the NFL. Additionally, the New York Giants’ first Black starting quarterback in franchise history wasn’t until 2017 with Geno Smith.

That was only because Eli Manning started the season 2-9 that the Giants stopped Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive regular-season games started.

However, as the email exchanges from former Las Vegas Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden show, inherent bias is sprinkled throughout the league and left unchecked for a long time.

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Change The Game

Now more skeletons are falling out of the closet, and game tanking accusation also could be a window into ownership mentality.

“The problem is when you have owners that are not from the sport and their fans, they don’t understand how hard it takes for a guy to work to get to that level,” Scott continued on Thursday. “Usually, general managers put guys on IR’s [injured reserve]. That’s how you could always tell if a team was tanking.

“They would take players that didn’t have real injuries, and they would put them on I.R.’s for the year. So this is something that is common practice but it’s absurd that you can think you can buy somebody by offering them, allegedly, $100,000, and I think that’s the offensive part about it.”

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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.