Morning Sports Update

‘Humiliation, disbelief, anger’: Brian Flores shared thoughts on his NFL lawsuit in CBS interview

"It's hard to speak out. It is. You're making some sacrifices, but this is bigger than football. This is bigger than coaching."

Brian Flores
Brian Flores during his final game as Dolphins head coach. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The Bruins defeated the Kraken on Tuesday night, 3-2. David Pastrnak scored twice and added an assist.

Tonight, the Celtics face the Hornets at 7:30 p.m.

Brian Flores discussed his NFL lawsuit: On Tuesday, former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL as well as three of its teams: The Giants, Dolphins, and Broncos.

Flores, a former Patriots assistant coach, is alleging that he was discriminated against in the hiring practice. A major piece of evidence that Flores produced were screenshots of a series of text messages from Bill Belichick appearing to show that the Patriots’ coach knew who the Giants were hiring before Flores had even interviewed.


Belichick mistakenly texted Flores, seeming to confuse him with former Bills assistant coach Brian Daboll (who the Giants ended up hiring as the team’s head coach).

On Wednesday morning, Flores spoke publicly about the lawsuit for the first time during an appearance with his lawyers on CBS Mornings. Asked by CBS reporter (and former NFL player) Nate Burleson how it felt to be walking into an interview knowing the Giants’ decision had already been made, Flores was blunt.

“It was a range of emotions. Humiliation, disbelief, anger,” Flores explained. “I’ve worked so hard to get where I am in football to become a head coach, put 18 years in this league and to go on what was going to be a, what felt like—or what was—a sham interview, I was hurt.”

Asked why he still attended the interview, Flores said he still had hope, and that he has a belief that “there’s good in people,” though one of his lawyers, Doug Wigdor, admitted that “we knew it was a setup, we knew they were just trying to comply with the Rooney Rule.”

Flores, addressing the NFL’s “Rooney Rule“—established in 2003 to help minority coaching candidates get interviews with teams to potentially become head coaches—said he thinks teams have turned it into “an instance where guys are just checking the box.”


“That’s been the case,” he said of the rule. “I’ve been on some interviews in the past where I’ve had that feeling. There’s no way to know for sure, but you know. And I know I’m not alone there.”

Flores is still in the running for multiple head coaching vacancies, but felt the time to come forward was right.

“This is bigger than coaching,” he said.

One of Flores’s allegations is that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him an additional $100,000 for each game the team lost in 2019 in order to help get a better draft pick during the team’s rebuilding effort.

According to his lawsuit, Flores refused to comply.

“I didn’t grow up with a lot,” Flores noted. “This game changed my life. So to attack the integrity of the game, that’s what I felt was happening in that instance and I wouldn’t stand for it.”

“I think it hurt my standing within the organization and ultimately was the reason why I was let go,” Flores said when asked if his refusal to comply with Ross’s request helped lead to his eventual firing.

Flores acknowledged that he “understands the risks” of filing the lawsuit, and said that he went “back and forth” on whether or not to file it.


Ultimately, he saw it as a chance to address a systemic problem.

“We didn’t have to file a lawsuit for the world to know that there’s a problem from a hiring standpoint in regards to minority coaches in the National Football League,” said Flores. “The numbers speak for themselves. We filed the lawsuit so that we could create some change, and that’s important to me.

“I think we’re at a fork in the road right now,” he continued. “We’re either going to keep it the way that it is, or we’re going to go in another direction and actually make some real change where we’re actually changing the hearts and minds of those who make the decisions to hire head coaches, executives, etc.”

Flores also made it clear that he still “absolutely wants to coach” in the NFL, but knows “I’m not the only story here.”

“There are people who have come before me and I know there are others who have similar stories,” Flores added. “It’s hard to speak out. It is. You’re making some sacrifices, but this is bigger than football. This is bigger than coaching.”

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