Brian Flores receives support from NFL players amid lawsuit against league, teams

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Brian Flores receives support from NFL players amid lawsuit against league, teams

[ad_1] Brian Flores, the former Miami Dolphins head coach, received support from NFL players after he filed a class-action lawsuit against his old t

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Brian Flores, the former Miami Dolphins head coach, received support from NFL players after he filed a class-action lawsuit against his old team, the New York Giants, and the NFL, alleging racial discrimination.

As word of the lawsuit was sent around Twitter, Flores received support from players who vowed to stand by the coach amid his strife with the league.

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FILE -Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks to Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross during practice before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

FILE -Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks to Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross during practice before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Former NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant, New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett were just some of the supporters.

Flores, who was the runner-up for the Giants coaching position alleged the team’s hiring process was a “sham” and showed text messages allegedly from Patriots coach Bill Belichick congratulating him on a job he didn’t get and eventually went to Brian Daboll. Belichick appeared to think he was texting Daboll and not Flores. The text message chain allegedly took place days before Flores interviewed.

Flores also alleges that prior to getting the Dolphins head coaching gig, he previously interviewed with the Denver Broncos and claims that then-general manager John Elway showed up to the interview an hour late and appeared to be hungover. Flores claims that he was interviewed for that job because of the Rooney Rule, which is an NFL policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions. Flores believes he was never a real candidate for the job.

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. 

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. 
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Flores, who spent three seasons as the head coach of the Dolphins and led the team to back-to-back winning years, was fired at the conclusion of the 2021 NFL regular season. According to the claim, Flores refused his owner’s order to “tank” for the first pick in the draft. During the 2019 season, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross allegedly told Flores that he would pay him $100,000 for every loss, and the team’s general manager Chris Grier told Flores that “Steve” was “mad” that Flores was winning games.

According to the claim, following the conclusion of the 2019 season, Ross pressured Flores to recruit a “prominent quarterback” in violation of the league’s tampering rules.

Flores, however, refused to comply with these improper orders. In the winter of 2020, Ross invited Flores onto a yacht for lunch and told him that the “prominent quarterback” was “conveniently” arriving at the marina. Shortly after he arrived, Flores left the meeting and the yacht immediately. Following the incident, Flores was treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.

BRIAN FLORES SUES NFL, GIANTS, DOLPHINS FOR ALLEGED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross is implicated in the lawsuit.

Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross is implicated in the lawsuit.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Each team denied the allegations in separate statements, as did the NFL.

“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. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit,” the league said.

Flores released a statement, saying he knows he’s risking a future in the league.

“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 systematic racism in the NFL, others will join me to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come,” his statement read.

Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis, who are both representing Flores in the lawsuit, released a statement on the issue.

“On the first day of Black History Month, it is our great privilege to represent Brian Flores in his class action complaint against the NFL,” the attorneys said. “This case seeks to level the playing field in the hope that future owners and coaches will be representative of the athletes who are playing this great game.  We fully expect coaches and players of all races to support Brian as he embarks on his journey to create positive change.”

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Flores, who was a former defensive coordinator for the Patriots under Belichick, had a 24-25 record in three years with the Dolphins, and his firing was viewed by many as a surprise across the league.

Fox News’ Daniel Canova contributed to this report.

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