Brian Flores lawsuit addresses an NFL problem that’s getting worse

by Ezekiel J. Walker
brian flores
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After a week of media interviews viewed by millions, Former Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores finds himself in the spotlight. Alone.

Among other lawsuit allegations, the outcasted coach is alleging Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross once offered him $100,000 to lose games in order to secure highly-ranked future draft picks.

Flores claims he denied the offer; Ross has since denied the conversation took place.

Later, Ross indicated that Flores’ January firing had to do with ineffective collaboration and culture adjustments. Yet, Flores notably brought the Dolphins back from a disastrous 1-7 start in 2021 to finish 9-8.

Brian Flores, Black coaches deserve better

Brian Flores has an uphill battle. He has to prove the obvious, yet unseen. Regardless of the cause, the effect remains the same–Black head coaches are not afforded a fair opportunity in the NFL.

What’s worse than a lawsuit pointing out obvious discrimination is seeing it played out directly in front of you. Last month marked the beginning of the 2022 NFL hiring cycle. There were nine head coaching vacancies in the NFL. In just a short time, seven have been filled, all by White men.

Flores accuses the NFL of racial discrimination. He accuses Stephen Ross of setting up a 2020 meeting between Flores and “a prominent quarterback” (Tom Brady) in a manner that would’ve violated league tampering rules.

Flores, still technically a coaching candidate, took a risk and only time will tell if his sacrifice will be rewarded. While it’s early, the class-action lawsuit only bears his name for now. He will need the testimony and proof of others to bolster what is largely regarded as a he-said he-said case.

Will other coaches join Flores?

Flores’ proof may come from Hue Jackson, former Cleveland Browns head coach. He recently stated he “wasn’t offered $100,000 for every game.” He added, “but there was a substantial amount of money made within what happened in this situation every year at the end of it.”

Jackson stated he can “prove anything and everything that I’m saying. The National Football League knows I can prove anything and everything I’m saying. And I don’t run from that.”

Hue Jackmon, former Cleveland Browns head coach

While the Browns went 1-31 during 2016 and 2017, Jackson claims he was monetarily incentivized to “tank” for a better draft position.

Flores said in a statement that he hopes others will join his lawsuit to share stories of “systemic racism in the NFL.” Hue Jackson has yet to formally sign his name to the lawsuit. Many aspiring Black head coaches are reportedly hesitant to join the lawsuit as their signature could be to their own professional demise.

Each of the three sued NFL teams and their representatives have denied Flores’ accusations. To date, Flores remains the sole plaintiff.

5 comments

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