Appearing with a pair of his attorneys Wednesday on CBS Mornings, Brian Flores outlined in detail the reasons for his unprecedented lawsuit filed against the NFL – and shared that he actually had been prepared to speak to CBS nearly a week ago as he believed his interview with the New York Giants was little more than a token opportunity.
An NFL assistant coaching veteran who spent the past three seasons as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Flores detailed last week’s events – alleged miscommunication text messages from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in which Belichick congratulated Brian Daboll on landing the Giants’ head coaching job but sent those texts to Flores some days before Flores’ interview for the Giants opening – said his multimillion-dollar action against the NFL “is much bigger than coaching.”
“Last Monday I received text messages from Bill Belichick, and I asked him are you talking to the right Brian,” Flores shared, as the network showed screenshots of the messages, “and he thought he was texting Brian Daboll.”
Still, Flores elected to go through with the Giants’ interview last Thursday.
“It was a range of emotions,” Flores told CBS inside their New York studio. “Humiliation. Disbelief. Anger.
“I worked so hard to get to where I am in football to become a head coach, 18 years in this league. To go on what was or felt like a sham interview … “
Flores, who still is set for multiple NFL interviews in the coming days and emphasized a desire to continue coaching, explained that filing the lawsuit and doing so now felt like a necessary step in a process bigger merely than Flores’ employment status.
“I let both the teams know that we were going to file,” said Flores, who has reportedly had interviews with the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints in this cycle, in addition to the Giants last week. “I love coaching, I’m gifted to coach. I know that. The relationships built with players, support staff, I love coaching. But this is bigger than coaching. Much bigger than coaching.”
Flores also doubled-down on his claim that the Dolphins, specifically franchise-owner Stephen Ross, had encouraged Flores early in his tenure atop the franchise to not win games.
“Look, this game has done a lot for me. I grew up not far from here in the projects in Brooklyn,” Flores said. “To attack the integrity of the game (by asking Flores not to win), I felt like in that instance, I wasn’t going to stand for it.”
Flores, joined on CBS’ set with a pair of his attorneys, Doug Wigdor and John Elefterakis, called it a “fork-in-the-road” moment as the root decision for the lawsuit.
“We didn’t have to file a lawsuit for the world to know that there’s a problem for hiring coaches from a minority standpoint,” said Flores, who noted the league most recently has had three minority coaches. “We filed lawsuit so that we can create some change. We’re at a fork in the road. … we’re actually changing hearts and minds of those who hire coaches.
“They do, that’s very reasonable to me [that companies/organizations can hire who they ultimately deem is best for the job, regardless of gender, race, etc.]. At the same time, I know a lot of very capable coaches, executives who are minorities and in a lot of cases as qualified, more qualified, quite frankly better than white counterparts that are not given that opportunity.
“I absolutely want to coach in this league, but I also know I’m not the only story here. I’m not the only one with a story here. People have come before me and I know there are others who have similar stories. It’s hard to speak out, but this is bigger than football, bigger than coaching.”