Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who was fired last month, has now sued NFL and three teams over alleged racist hiring practices for aspiring coaches. He has alleged that the Dolphins offered him $100,000 a game during his first season to “tank” so the club could secure the top draft pick.
The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court sought class-action status and unspecified damages from the league, the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants, along with unidentified individuals.
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In a statement released by the law firm representing him, Flores 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.”
“In making the decision to file the class action complaint today, I understand that I may be risking coaching the game that I love and that has done so much for my family and me. 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 added.
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Flores was fired last month after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years.
The lawsuit claimed that the 40-year-old was forced to undergo a “sham interview” with the Broncos in 2019.
“It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule,” the lawsuit claims.
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In a statement, the NFL said it will defend “against these claims, which are without merit.”
“The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations. Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time,” it said.
With inputs from The Associated Press