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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Brian Flores suing Giants for alleged racism in hiring of Brian Daboll

Brian Flores on the field

Brian Flores was among the head coaching candidates who interviewed with the New York Giants, but he was never given a real shot at landing the job. At least, that is what he claims in an explosive lawsuit he filed against the New York Giants, NFL and other teams on Tuesday.

Flores is suing the Giants and NFL for alleged racism (PDF of the lawsuit here) in the process that led to them hiring Brian Daboll last week. The 40-year-old cites a text message exchange he had with Bill Belichick as evidence that the Giants had already committed to hiring Daboll before Flores even interviewed with the team.

Belichick allegedly sent a text message to Flores congratulating him on landing the Giants job. Flores was confused, as he hadn’t yet interviewed with New York. He replied asking if Belichick had heard something he hadn’t and telling him he hasn’t sat down with the Giants yet. Belichick said he had heard “from Buffalo & NYG that you are their guy.” Daboll was previously the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, which indicated to Flores that Belichick may have been talking about Daboll. Flores then asked Belichick if he knew he was talking to Brian Flores and not Brian Daboll.

At that point, Belichick realized he had made a mistake. You can see the screenshots below:

Belichick’s error may prove that the Giants violated the spirit of the Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates before making a hire.

The Giants responded to the lawsuit with a brief statement. They said Flores was in the running to be their next head coach “until the eleventh hour.”

The lawsuit alleges that the “NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers.” While the Giants will have a difficult time proving they did not violate the spirit of the Rooney Rule, they will likely argue that race did not play a role in their decision to hire Daboll over Flores. Rather, they interviewed Flores to satisfy the rule even though they had already decided on their next coach.

Photo: Dec 19, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores runs off the field after winning the game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

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