NFL Addresses Racism of Flores Scandal

Gavin Kleinberger, Co-Sports Editor, Junior

Although the National Football League has had a successful year, with ratings up significantly from last season, they have found themselves amidst a controversy. Former head coach of the Miami Dolphins Brian Flores is suing the NFL, The Dolphins, The New York Giants, and The Denver Broncos over allegations of racism in hiring. In addition, he is accusing Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of offering Flores $100k for each game he lost in the teams 2019 season. The scandal was exposed when he received incriminating text messages from New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick.

Flores had been the head coach for Miami for three seasons, with relatively productive results. He went 5-11 his first season, with a poorly constructed roster. That is where the controversy supposedly began. It was obvious that the team had a clear strategy of losing, in order to get the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. According to Flores, Ross was infuriated that he was winning games, which in turn would cost the team a high draft selection. The team ended up drafting 5th overall, where they selected Tua Tagovailoa. This apparently led to friction between Ross and Flores, which ended up with Flores being fired, despite his coaching talents.

The NFL has a rule in place called the Rooney Rule, which mandates that the NFL teams looking for head coaches must interview minorities for the position. However, Flores believes that the teams manipulate this rule, and use him along with other black coaches to merely follow the rule, before hiring other white coaches. He has cited his experiences with the Giants and the Broncos hiring processes. Flores claimed that when he was interviewed to coach the Denver Broncos he was not treated like a real candidate, explaining that the owner and general manager of the team showed up after clearly being out the night before. He shared text messages from Bill Belichick where Bellichick stated that the Giants had already hired Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator, before he even interviewed for the job. The NFL has so far denied all claims, and will certainly fight the lawsuit.