‘It was a range of emotions’: Brian Flores discusses class-action lawsuit against the NFL

The 40-year-old Flores acknowledged that he might not receive another job in the NFL because of the lawsuit.

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Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks to team owner Stephen M. Ross before a game in 2019.

Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks to team owner Stephen M. Ross before a game in 2019.

Wilfredo Lee/AP

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores detailed why he fileda class-action race discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and three teamsin an appearance on “CBS Mornings” on Wednesday, reiterating that his coaching future is inperil and said he felt “humiliation” knowing he was going into sham interviews.

Flores filed the lawsuit in ManhattanFederal Court Tuesday, allegingthat the National Football Leagueand three teams, the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and New York Giantswere discriminatory in their interviews with him.

He also said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted him to tank games and would pay $100,000 for each loss that occurred during the 2019 season.

The NFL said that the lawsuit was “without merit” and with the Dolphins”vehemently” denythe allegations. The Giants said Flores was a candidate until the “eleventh hour,” butultimately hired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

“The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect,” the Dolphins said in a statement.

Flores and his attorneysDoug Wigdor and John Elefterakis appeared on “CBS Mornings” and saidthey reached out to the network the daybefore Flores’ interview with theGiants knowing he wouldn’t get the job.

“It was a range of emotions. Humiliation, disbelief, anger,” Flores said. “I had worked so hard to get to where I am, to become a head coach.To know it was a sham interview, I was hurt.”

The 40-year-old Flores acknowledged that he might not receive another job in the NFL because of the lawsuit.

Asked why he still went on the interview with the Giants knowing he wouldn’t get the job. “The audacity of hope,” Flores said, who added he let teams know that he interviewed with that a lawsuit was forthcoming.

“I have a belief that there is good in people. I absolutely want to coach in this league. But I’m also not the only one with a story to tell. There are people who have come before andI know there are others who have similar stories. It’s hard to speak out and you’re making some sacrifices.This is bigger than coaching.”

Flores said, as he did in the lawsuit,how he felt about Ross and his offer to tank games.

“This game has done a lot for me,” Flores said. “This game changed my life. I wouldn’t stand for it. I think it hurt my standing with the organization and that’s why I was fired.”

The Rooney Rule was put in place in 2003 that mandated that teamsinterview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching jobs and has been since expanded to front-office positions.

“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 NFL,” Flores said. “We filed a lawsuit to create change. We’re at a fork in the road.”

Flores was fired after three seasons and a 24-25 record last month and has interviewed for several head coaching positions.

Currently, the Houston Texans,New Orleans Saints,Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings have head coachopenings.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said on CBS that he applauded what Flores was doing and thatthe system has to change.

“I think that is something to be looked at,” Rivera said. “What Brian’s doing is a brave thing. We’ve got to be willing to open up our eyes and decide on merit.”

Read more at usatoday.com

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