NY Giants deny allegations in Brian Flores lawsuit
The National Football League’s (NFL) New York Giants on Thursday denied allegations made against the team in former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’s racial discrimination lawsuit.
Flores, who is Black, on Tuesday sued the NFL and three teams, the Dolphins, the Giants and the Denver Broncos, for engaging in what the lawsuit depicted as a pattern of racially discriminatory hiring practices. Flores was fired by the Dolphins last month.
“After we interviewed six exceptional and diverse candidates, the decision on who we would hire as head coach was made on the evening of January 28, one day after Mr. Flores spent an entire day in our offices going through his second interview for the position, meeting with ownership and other staff members, and receiving a tour of our facility,” the team said in a statement. “There is additional concrete and objective evidence to substantiate we did not make our decision until the evening of the 28th.”
Flores alleges he was subjected to what he described as a “sham interview” with the New York Giants, conducted only to pay lip service to the league’s “Rooney rule,” which requires teams to interview at least one Black candidate for coaching staff vacancies. He claims he was inadvertently tipped off by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the interview process that another applicant — Brian Daboll, who is white — had already been unofficially chosen for the job.
The Giants addressed the text exchange with Belichick in the team’s statement, saying it is “irresponsible” for Flores to think that former Daboll would get the job before he interviewed with the team.
“The text exchange occurred the day before Coach Daboll’s in-person interview even took place. Giants’ ownership would never hire a head coach based only on a 20-minute zoom interview, which is all that Mr. Daboll had at that point,” the team said.
“In addition, Mr. Belichick does not speak for and has no affiliation with the Giants. Mr. Belichick’s text exchange provides no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search,” the statement continued,
The team detailed Flores’s interview process, which it said included meetings with team executives and newly hired general manager Joe Schoen prior to an in-person interview on January 27, a day before the team said it decided to hire Daboll for the position.
“We hired Brian Daboll as our head coach at the conclusion of an open and thorough interview process. No decision was made, and no job offer was extended, until the evening of January 28, a full day after Mr. Flores’ in-person interview and day-long visit to the Giants,” the statement said.
The NFL and the Dolphins and the Broncos, the two other teams sued in the lawsuit, have also denied Flores’s allegations of racial discrimination.
“A couple of days after they [fired Joe Judge], I got a call from [owner] John Mara saying he was very interested in bringing me in and was looking forward to speaking to me. They were going to make their GM hire first, but I was high on their list. I did a zoom with him the next week,” Flores said. “I felt like I had a legitimate shot at getting this job. The text messages from Bill, that exchange, that was a tough pill to swallow.”
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