Flores says lawsuit alleging racism against NFL ‘much bigger than coaching’

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said on Wednesday that the racial discrimination lawsuit he filed against the NFL this week was much “bigger” than coaching.

Flores, who is Black, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in the league’s hiring practices. In his complaint, Flores wrote that the NFL operated “much like a plantation.”

“Its 32 owners — none of whom are Black — profit substantially from the labor of NFL players, 70 percent of whom are Black,” he said. Only one current NFL coach, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, is Black.

Appearing on “CBS Mornings,” Flores said his lawsuit had to do with issues “much bigger than coaching.” Co-host Gayle King noted that the lawsuit could potentially harm Flores’s career aspirations, as he still wishes to coach in the NFL.

“I understand the risks and yes, it was a difficult decision and I went back and forth. And like I said, I love coaching. I do,” Flores said. “It’s something that I’m passionate about, it brings me joy, and I love helping young people reach their potential and become the best versions of themselves. I’m gifted to do that. But this is bigger than that.”

Early in January, Flores was fired after three seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Flores alleged that he was told by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to throw games, claiming that he was offered $100,000 for every game that his team lost.

Flores also alleged that his interview for the head coaching job with the New York Giants was only so that franchise could fulfill the NFL’s racial diversity guidelines, known as the Rooney rule. The Giants announced the hiring of new head coach Brian Daboll, who is white, on Friday.

“This game has done a lot for me,” Flores said, noting that he grew up in public housing in Brooklyn and did not have “a lot.”

“This game changed my life. So to attack the integrity of the game, that’s what I felt was happening in that instance, I wouldn’t stand for it,” he said.

At the time of Flores’s termination, Ross said that he felt “key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning.” However, Flores said that he believes it was his refusal to comply with Ross’s alleged instructions that ultimately cost him his position.

King noted that the NFL has pushed back against Flores’s allegations, saying in a public statement that “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 didn’t have to file a lawsuit for the world to know that there’s a problem from from a hiring standpoint in regards to minority coaches in the National Football League. The numbers speak for themselves. We filed the lawsuit so that we could create some change,” Flores said.

“I think we’re at a fork in the road right now. You know, we’re either going to keep it the way it is or we’re going to go in another direction and actually make some real change where we’re actually changing the hearts and minds of those who make decisions to hire head coaches, executives, etc.,” he said.

Tags American football Brian Flores Gayle King Miami Dolphins National Football League

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