Brian Flores, the former Miami Dolphins coach who filed suit this week against the NFL over racist hiring practices, revealed more details of his allegations — including a pay-to-lose scheme started by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross — during several media appearances on Wednesday.
Flores was fired last month after leading the Dolphins to their second straight winning season, and a 24-25 record over three years, according to The Associated Press. In his lawsuit, Flores accused Ross of offering him $100,000 for every game he lost on purpose, in an effort to “tank” the season and secure a better draft pick next year.
“That was a conversation about not doing as much as we needed to do in order to win football games,” Flores said Wednesday on ESPN. “‘Take a flight, go on vacation, I’ll give you $100,000 per loss’ — those were his exact words. I deal in truth, I tell the players this, as well.”
He added: “To disrespect the game like that, trust was lost, and there were certainly some strained relationships and ultimately, I think that was my demise in Miami.”
Flores declined Ross’ offer and said he was characterized as the “angry Black man” on the team, and was ridiculed until he was eventually fired.
He filed suit on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, seeking class-action status and damages from the NFL and three teams: the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants.
Several accidental texts from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick reportedly tipped Flores off that he had been snubbed for a position with the New York Giants before he’d even interviewed with the team.
Flores may still end up as a coach next season — he has reportedly interviewed with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints for different roles. He told CNN on Wednesday that he’ll continue with the lawsuit even if he gets a new coaching gig.
“This is about changing the hiring practices in the National Football League, and that’s what this lawsuit is about,” he said. “I want to coach football, that’s what I’m called to do.”
The NFL said Tuesday that the lawsuit is “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,” the league said in a statement. “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.”