Brian Flores, who got fired for winning, now sues the NFL over the Rooney Rule amongst other complaints.
4:30 EST UPDATED WITH BREAKING NEWS: Former Browns coach Hue Jackson claims to have evidence that would lend credibility to Flores’ accusations.
In the executive director of his charitable foundation claims to have documents:
This story just continues to get more and more wild. Stay tuned to Men Of Order for further updates.
Brian Flores filed a class action complaint against the NFL, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins & Denver Broncos, along with the other 29 NFL teams as John Doe Teams 1-29. I guess I need to update my NFL Season Scandals article now.
Was Brian Flores Fired For Winning NFL Games?
The complaint accuses the Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross, of offering Flores $100k for every loss if he tanked. He was fired after coaching the franchise to their first back to back winning seasons since 2003.
Along with that, the Dolphins Owner is accused of setting up a meeting with Flores & a QB which would have been against the NFL's tampering rules. Allegedly, Flores did not attend the meeting.
Did The Giants Conduct a Fake Meeting?
The Giants were accused of hiring their head coach, Brian Daboll, & disclosing it to third parties. Then, they still interviewed Brian Flores for a job that wasn't available.
He sat through a dinner with the Giants' new general manager & participated in an interview, all while knowing the Giants had already decided on a head coach.
He knew because Bill Belichick inadvertently told him.
The Broncos Hungover Interview
The complaint against the Broncos is that they interviewed Brian Flores for the head coaching job in 2019 only as a formality in order to comply with the NFL's Rooney Rule.
Allegedly, the GM, John Elway, & CEO of the Broncos showed up an hour late to the interview & were clearly hungover.
The NFL's Rooney Rule
In 2003, the Rooney Rule was established to improve diversity in head coaching hires. The rule required NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate when interviewing for the head coaching position.
Black NFL Head Coaches in 2003
- Marvin Lewis - Cincinatti Bengals
- Tony Dungy - Indianapolis Colts
- Herm Edwards - New York Jets
Black NFL Head Coaches in 2022
- Mike Tomlin - Pittsburgh Steelers
It's worth noting that the NFL season began with 3 black head coaches. Houston Texans fired David Culley & Miami Dolphins fired Brian Flores. Even if we proceed as if there are 3 active black head coaches, the Rooney Rule still proves to be ineffective, at best.
In 2009, the rule expanded to GM & other front office positions.
Black NFL GMs in 2009:
- Ozzie Newsome - Baltimore Ravens - Also the first black NFL GM
- Rod Graves - Arizona Cardinals
- Martin Mayhew - Detroit Lions
- Rick Smith - Houston Texans
- Jerry Reese - New York Giants
Black NFL GMs in 2022
- Terry Fontenot - Atlanta Falcons
- Ryan Poles - Chicago Bears
- Andrew Berry - Cleveland Browns
- Brad Holmes - Detroit Lions
- Kwesi Adofo-Mensah - Minnesota Vikings
- Chris Grier - Miami Dolphins
- Martin Mayhew - Washington Football Team
At least this expansion of the rule has yielded small success.
In the complaint, it states that "the racial discrimination has only been made worse by the NFL’s disingenuous commitment to social equity."
The Rooney Rule is also not working because management is not doing the interviews in good-faith, and it therefore creates a stigma that interviews of Black candidates are only being done to comply with the Rooney Rule rather than in recognition of the talents that the Black candidates possess.Brian Flores' Class Action Complaint against the NFL
The NFL has had 129 head coaching vacancies in the 20 years since the Rooney Rule. There have been 15 black coaches hired to fill those vacancies.
11% of head coaching jobs in a league where 70% of the players are black.
In simplest terms, the Rooney Rule is a failure.
Is The NFL Rife With Racism?
The lawsuit states that "The NFL is rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators, and General Managers."
It claims that black head coaches are fired as far less successful white head coaches are retained.
Since 1978, only 16 NFL head coaches have been fired after a winning season. Four were black head coaches (25%). There has been 17 black head coaches to coach a full season in the NFL & 4 of them have been fired after winning seasons, good for almost 25%.
Brian Flores was another victim of this.
The Cardinals hired Steve Wilks for the 2018 season. Working with Josh Rosen & his 24.1 QBR at quarterback, the Cardinals went 3-13 & Wilks was fired after only one season. Kliff Kingsbury inherited offensive rookie of the year Kyler Murray & only won 5 games in their 1st season.
Now they're a playoff team.
Watch the full episode here. We'll be covering this Brian Flores story so make sure you subscribe while you're there.
The Texans were 4-12 & 3rd in their division with Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson at QB. David Culley won the same amount of games with Tyrod Taylor & Davis Mills at QB. He was also fired after just one season.
Zac Taylor, a white head coach, went 2-14 in his first year with the Bengals. He kept his job. A record of 6-25-1 in his first 2 seasons with a team that actually believed in his ability to build a championship team.
Now the Bengals are in the Super Bowl in the Year of the Tiger in Taylor's 3rd season.
NFL Officials Know There's a Problem
Troy Vincent, NFL's Executive VP of Football Operations, said "There is a double standard & we've seen that" and "These men have been fired after a winning season. How do you explain that? There is a double standard."
Jonathan Beane, the NFL's Senior VP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer said "Any criticism we get for lack of representation at the GM and head coach positions, we deserve."
The NFL's executives acknowledge the issue, why is nothing getting better?
Better yet, why is it getting worse?
The suit also accuses the NFL of "race-norming".
This accusation is 100% true.
I wrote about this RACIST practice months ago. Learn more about race-norming & the NFL.