Lawyers for Brian Flores say NFL suit nixed coach’s potential hire by Texans

However, Flores also expressed congratulations for Lovie Smith, a fellow Black coach, getting the Texans head coaching job in his stead.

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Brian Flores. John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service/Getty Images
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If nothing else, Brian Flores’s lawsuit against the NFL has yielded some short-term change in the league’s struggle against its lack of racial diversity in its head-coaching ranks.

Within the last three days, NFL teams have elevated two coaches of Black ancestry, Mike McDaniel (Dolphins) and Lovie Smith (Texans), to lead teams. That’s a higher number of Black coaches hired than the previous two seasons combined (one).

McDaniel takes over the vacancy left by Flores in Miami while Smith was hired in Houston after the Texans fired David Culley, who was the lone Black head coach hired last season.

But though these hires do meet more immediate calls for more minority head coaches in the NFL, Flores’s lawyers, Douglas Wigdor and John Elefterakis, issued a statement Monday reminding everyone that one key coach of color still doesn’t have a job: their client.

“Mr. Flores is happy to hear that the Texans have hired a Black head coach, Lovie Smith, as Mr. Flores’ goal in bringing his case is to provide real opportunities for Black and minority candidates to be considered for coaching and executive positions within the NFL,” the statement said. “However, we would be remiss not to mention that Mr. Flores was one of three finalists for the Texans’ head coach position and, after a great interview and mutual interest, it is obvious that the only reason Mr. Flores was not selected was his decision to stand up against racial inequality across the NFL.”


That last part is no surprise.

Flores had long been connected to the Texans job due to his relationship with general manager Nick Caserio, formerly of the Patriots’ front office, and completed his second interview for the job the day before he dropped his bombshell lawsuit blasting the NFL for racial discrimination in its hiring processes.

After that, his chances of being hired by an NFL team this season became essentially nil.

It’s also notable the Texans were reportedly high on former NFL journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, who was also a finalist, as the favorite for the job. However, it appears the team decided the backlash to appointing McCown, who is white and has never held a coaching position in the NFL, would have been too great after the Flores lawsuit and pivoted to Smith. As such, it’s possible Flores might have been passed over for the job yet again in an even more egregious fashion.

Only time will tell if Smith, 63, faces the same fate as his predecessor Culley (fired after one season) and the Texans simply make a run at McCown again in 2023 after the furor dies down.

But it seems all too likely Flores taking the fight to the league over its poor history of hiring minority candidates will cost him his NFL career.


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