Brian Flores lawsuit accuses Denver Broncos of discrimination, hungover finish at 2019 head coach interview
It’s never a dull day in Broncoland.
With the dust from the search for coaches barely settled, with Nathaniel Hackett winning the job and the Senior Bowl starting in Mobile, AL, with an assortment of quarterbacks to vet, the Denver Broncos found themselves in the headlines. of the NFL on Tuesday as former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFLthe Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos in a class action lawsuit.
There are a number of interesting and troubling details surrounding Flores’ complaint, such as New England Patriots head coach Bill Bellicheck. Flores alleges that Belichick, believing he was contacting Brian Dabollaccidentally texted him congratulating him on getting the Giants head coaching job, three days before Flores’ interview with the team.
Daboll was eventually named head coach of the Giants
It wasn’t just the Giants who apparently arranged what Flores’ complaint calls a “mock interview” for the head coaching job, but dating back to the Broncos’ 2019 head coaching search, Flores alleges that Denver also discriminated against him as a candidate, citing the only reason for the interview being to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires NFL clubs to interview at least one black candidate during the course. of a head coaching hiring cycle.
Flores alleges that then-Broncos general manager John Elway, CEO Joe Ellis and others showed up an hour late for their interview with Flores, the same cycle Denver hired Vic Fangio. Flores also claims the Broncos’ hiring committee arrived obviously disheveled after a night of drinking.
If the complaint in this class action lawsuit of Elway and company showing up for the hungover Flores interview is true, it would be incredibly unprofessional and disappointing at best. Even the allegation is a poor look for Denver, especially in light of Elway’s reputation as a heavy drinker.
How that plays out for the Broncos remains to be seen. Will this have an impact on the imminent sale of the franchise? Will the NFL fall on Denver with fines and a potential loss of draft picks?
It is of utmost importance to let the legal process unfold and see what facts surface as new information comes to light. Regardless of the outcome, however, when it comes to the Broncos’ alleged discrimination against Flores, it would be an embarrassing stain on the Duke of Denver’s resume and his tenure in the Broncos’ front office.
It should be noted, however, that when it comes to discrimination, Elway and Ellis hired a black head coach in Vance Joseph during the Broncos’ previous hiring round in 2017. Joseph served as head coach for two years, winning only 11 games and was dismissed. at the end of the 2018 campaign.
Although the Broncos have yet to publicly respond to Flores’ allegations, the Giants have vigorously denied them:
“We are satisfied and confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll. We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates. The fact is that Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour. In the end, we hired the person we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach.
The complaint also cites incidents surrounding Flores’ time in Miami involving owner Stephen Ross – a 2019 tampering incident – and alleges he offered the coach a $100,000 per game payment to tank in 2019 in order to to move up the draft boards to land a quarterback. in the 2020 NFL Draft.
What does Flores hope to gain from this trial? He is asking the Federal Court to remedy what the coach considers an allegedly discriminatory hiring process in the NFL. And of course, Flores is seeking punitive damages from the league and the three teams named in the lawsuit.
Again, the Broncos have yet to issue a statement in response to Flores’ allegations about events that took place three years ago.
Update: The Broncos responded to Flores’ inflammatory allegations:
“Brian Flores’ allegations directed against the Denver Broncos in today’s court filing are patently false.
“Our interview with Mr. Flores regarding our position as head coach began promptly at the scheduled time of 7:30 a.m. on January 5, 2019, at a hotel in Providence, RI. Five Broncos executives were on hand for the interview, which lasted about three and a half hours — the allotted time — and ended shortly before 11 a.m.
“Pages of detailed notes, analysis and evaluations from our interview demonstrate the depth of our conversation and our sincere interest in Mr. Flores as a head coach candidate.
“Our process was thorough and fair in determining the most qualified candidate for our position as head coach. The Broncos will vigorously defend the integrity and values of our organization – and its employees – against such baseless and derogatory assertions. »
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