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Former Miami Dolphins head coach, Brian Flores, claims that the Dolphins tried to get him to sign a two-year non-disparagement agreement (NDA) with the team in order to “silence” him.
Appearing on an episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Flores was joined by two of his lawyers to discuss the Dolphins’ attempt to try and silence the former head coach.
“Just signing that separation agreement would have really silenced me,” Flores said in the episode that aired Tuesday night.
Flores was accompanied by Doug Wigdor and John Elefterakis, his lawyers, giving their account of what led to a lawsuit filed by Flores against the NFL and three of its teams.
According to Elefterakis, by not signing the separation agreement, Flores left millions of dollars on the table. But not signing also granted him the freedom to talk about his treatment in Miami, as well as file the lawsuit.
“To Coach Flores’ credit, he wasn’t gonna sign that, because he wanted – it wasn’t about the money,” Wigdor told Gumbel. “If it was about the money, he would have signed it. What he did instead was he filed this lawsuit so that he could help other coaches, now and in the future.”
“If a coach is terminated with a couple years or a year left on their contract, they don’t get paid unless they sign a waiver, an NDA, confidentiality and non-disparagement,” Wigdor added. “So they buy their silence.”
Flores’ Filed Lawsuit
Flores filed the explosive lawsuit in the Southern District of New York last month. In it he accuses Dolphins owners Stephen Ross of offering him $100,000 for every loss in an effort to tank for the Number 1 draft pick during the 2019 NFL season. The suit includes texts he alleges are from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick demonstrating that the Giants conducted an interview with Flores while knowing that they already intended to hire Brian Daboll as head coach.
Brian Flores' class action lawsuit against the NFL – he is being represented by the same firm that represented Harvey Weinstein victims and former Fox News employees in their discrimination cases https://t.co/1EqJ7qDA4A pic.twitter.com/jrSjm12XHT
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) February 1, 2022
The suit alleges that the Giants interviewed Flores simply to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule mandate requiring that teams interview minority candidates.
Flores also alleges that before getting the Dolphins job, he interviewed with the Denver Broncos — a meeting for which then-general manager John Elway was an hour late and appeared to be hungover.
The NFL has hired a law firm that includes former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend it and its teams against Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit.
Dolphin’s Response to Brian Flores
The Dolphins responded to Flores’ comments Tuesday evening, calling them “categorically false.”
“This latest assertion by Brian Flores that Steve Ross mentioned an NDA to him is categorically false. This just did not happen and we simply cannot understand why Brian continues this pattern of making unfounded statements that he knows are untrue,” the team said. “We are fully cooperating with the NFL investigation and look forward to all of the facts coming out which we are confident will prove that his claims are false and defamatory.”
In response to the #Dolphins calling Brian Flores' assertion of an NDA "categorically false," below are screenshots from the draft agreement & payment termination notice.
— WigdorLaw (@WigdorLaw) February 23, 2022
When Gumbel asked Flores’ reaction to Ross’ statement, he replied: “Let’s see how this plays out. I’m the one who had the most to lose here.”