NFL: A game changer
The GIST: Yesterday — on the first day of Black History Month — recently (and unexpectedly) fired Miami Dolphins head coach (HC) Brian Flores sued the NFL and three teams for alleged racism in their hiring practices. An absolute bombshell.
The claim: Flores’ suit contains potentially league-altering allegations, including that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay Flores $100K per loss during the 2019 season, an incentive to help ensure Miami would lose enough games to secure the No. 1 draft pick in 2020. Umm, WTF?
- Other damning details relate to the league’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for every head coaching vacancy.
- The lawsuit includes a text exchange between Flores and New England Patriots HC Bill Belichick, which suggests that the NY Giants had already decided on hiring a different HC prior to Flores’ interview, seemingly interviewing Flores just to satisfy the rule.
The NFL’s response: The league responded soon after the suit was filed, saying that Flores’ claims “are without merit” and that “diversity is core to everything we do.” To which we say, “sure, Jan.”
The context: With Flores fired from the 9-8 Dolphins last month and the Houston Texans’ David Culley let go shortly after, there’s only one active Black HC in the NFL — the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin — in a league that has about 60% Black players.
The impact: As Flores wrote in a statement, “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.”
- His courageous choice to take a stand — and likely risk his own future in the league as a result — should be applauded, and acted upon by the NFL. As New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas tweeted, “Brian Flores about to change the game.”