Brian Flores sued the NFL and three teams – Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants – on Tuesday over alleged racist hiring practices for coaches and general managers. As soon as the fired coach’s lawsuit was public, an alleged text exchange between him and New England Patriots’ General Manager Bill Belichick surfaced on social media. The messages show the latter accidentally revealing New York Giants’ choice for coach even before an interview was conducted.
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Flores, suing the league, said, “God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals.”
He, according to the statement released by his lawyers, added that he understands that the class action complaint might rish his coaching in the game.
“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,” he said.
However, the text message exchange between him and Belichick has made a strong case against the Patriots’ GM. Prior to Flores’ interview for the Giants’ coaching job, he was told by Belichick that he’s “their guy.”
The fired Dolphins coach then asked Belichick if he was referring to Brian Daboll. The Patriots GM then allegedly replied, “Sorry – I f—ed this up. I doubled checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Daboll. I’m sorry about that.”
Flores and Daboll worked with Belichick at the New England Patriots.
Brian Flores insists that the conversation is proof he was only brought in for an interview to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview a minority candidate when a head coaching job opens up.
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“The Giants would likely have gotten away with this most insidious form of discrimination if New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick had not mistakenly disclosed it to Mr. Flores in the below text messages,” the lawsuit states.
Here are the alleged texts from Belichick:
Flores, 40, was fired last month by Miami after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years. They went 9-8 in their second straight winning season, but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.
In a statement, the NFL said it will defend “against these claims, which are without merit.”