This Is Bigger Than Football: Brian Flores Talks About Suing The NFL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – “This isn’t about me, and I understand that. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than football,” says Brian Flores. The fired Miami Dolphins coach is talking about his racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and three teams.

According to court documents, the 40-year-old claims the Giants held an interview with him for their vacant head coaching job, even though they had already chosen someone else. Flores calls it a ruse to comply with the league’s Rooney Rule, which requires every team interview at least two external minority candidates for open coaching positions.

The four-time Super Bowl winning coach knows this lawsuit could hurt his future career, but he says he had to step up and be an agent for change. “It was humiliating, to be quite honest. There was disbelief, anger. There was, you know, a wave of emotions for a lot of reasons. And I think this is why, you know, we filed the lawsuit,” says Flores. He goes on to say, “You know, even on my staff, thought about guys on my staff, my previous staff in Miami, who I know are more than capable, who are gifted to coach in this league, to lead. I just want them to have the opportunity to stand in front of an owner and have a real opportunity to get one of those jobs and lead a team.”

Right now, there’s only one Black head coach in the NFL, even though about 70 percent of the players are Black. The Dolphins let Flores go last month, after Miami missed qualifying for the playoffs. Flores also claims that in 2019, team owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for each game he would lose, because a losing record secures a higher pick in the NFL draft. The coach says he refused, and that contributed to him being fired. Flores says, “I’ve got a group of men in that locker room that I need to look them in the eye and let them know that I’m helping them reach their potential and we’re trying to win games. I was never going to stand for that. I would say that strained a lot of the relationships in Miami.”

The Dolphins deny the allegations, saying in a statement, “The implications that we acted in a matter inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect.”

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB Sports anchor Zach Aldridge
WCCB News Edge contributor Ashley Anderson