The former head coach of the Miami Dolphins is suing the NFL after his firing last month, alleging racial discrimination. Brian Flores' termination came as a surprise to many, considering his winning record with the team this season, Deadline reports. His class-action suit claims the league, which currently has just one Black head coach per Axios, is still "rife with racism," which "has only been made worse by the NFL’s disingenuous commitment to social equity." The suit names the league, the Dolphins, the New York Giants, and the Denver Broncos, plus "John Doe teams 1-29," which means other class-action participants could join the suit and target other teams.
Flores says he interviewed with the Giants and the Broncos, but that the teams had no intention of hiring him and he was only given a sit-down because of the league's "Rooney Rule," which requires that head coach searches must include minority candidates. He says New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick mistakenly texted him, thinking he was messaging someone else, about another candidate getting the Giants position before Flores had even interviewed. Among other things, he's calling for increased influence of Black individuals in hiring, increased objectivity in the hiring process, more Black coordinators, and incentives for hiring or retaining Black coaches, general managers, or coordinators, ESPN reports.
"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," Flores says in a statement. He also alleges the Dolphins offered him $100,000 to throw games in order to improve the team's draft position. The NFL responded quickly. "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," it says in a statement. "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." The Giants similarly stood by its hiring decision. (Read more NFL stories.)