- Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, accusing the league and several teams of racism.
- The lawsuit accuses Dolphins owner of offering $100,000 per loss to tank for a better draft pick.
- Stephen Ross is also accused of asking Flores to break the league’s tampering rules to land star QB.
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a blockbuster lawsuit against the NFL on Tuesday, accusing the league and several teams of racial discrimination concerning the hiring and retention of Black head coaches and coordinators.
Flores, who is Black, was hired as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2019. In the lawsuit, Flores alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross directed him to “tank” to secure the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, going as far as to offer him $100,000 per loss.
The Dolphins finished the 2019 season 5-11 after winning their final two games and received the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft.
According to the lawsuit, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told Flores that Ross was “mad” that too many wins were “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”
Tanking for draft position is something of an open secret when it comes to NFL front offices. However, the allegation that Ross tried to bribe Flores in exchange for losses on the field is a significant problem for a league in terms of integrity and its newfound partnerships with gambling entities in recent years.
Ross is also accused of pressuring Flores to break NFL tampering rules
The lawsuit also alleges that Ross “began to pressure Mr. Flores to recruit a prominent quarterback in violation of League tampering rules” in the 2020 offseason.
Per the lawsuit:
“In the winter of 2020, Mr. Ross invited Mr. Flores onto a yacht for lunch. Shortly after he arrived, Mr. Ross told Mr. Flores that the prominent quarterback was ‘conveniently’ arriving at the marina. Obviously, Mr. Ross had attempted to ‘set up’ a purportedly impromptu meeting between Mr. Flores and the prominent quarterback. Mr. Flores refused the meeting and left the yacht immediately. After the incident, Mr. Flores was treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”
The lawsuit says that “after the incident, Mr. Flores was treated with disdain and held out as someone who was noncompliant and difficult to work with.”
Flores was fired by the Dolphins earlier this year after leading the Dolphins to a 9-8 campaign, just one win shy of reaching the postseason.
Flores finished 2020 and 2021 with a winning record, the first time the Dolphins had delivered back-to-back winning seasons since 2003. During the back half of the 2021 season, the Dolphins went 8-1 through their final nine games, finishing as one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
Given the Dolphins’ strong finish to the season, many thought he would get another year in Miami. Instead, he was fired.
A representative for the Dolphins could not be immediately reached for comment.