Politics

Former Dolphins Coach Brian Flores, Who’s Suing The NFL, Says Owner Offered Him $Millions To Keep Quiet


Brian Flores, the former Miami Dolphins head coach and current Pittsburgh Steelers defensive assistant who is suing the NFL for racial discrimination, is doubling down on his claims Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tried to bribe him. This time, however, he said it wasn’t to lose games to bolster the Dolphin’s draft chances.

In his first interview since joining the Steelers, Flores told HBO Sports that he was offered millions of dollars to sign a non-disparagement agreement (NDA) but he refused.

“I think just signing that separation agreement would have really silenced me,” Flores told host Bryant Gumbel. He added that he turned down “a lot of money” by not signing the NDA.

“It was millions of dollars,” Flores’ attorneys chimed in.

“It was two years, it was a contract, and — you know, to Coach Flores’ credit — he wasn’t gonna sign that because it wasn’t about the money,” said Flores’s lawyer, Doug Wigdor. “If it was about the money, he would have signed it. What he did instead was he filed this lawsuit so that he could help other coaches, now and in the future.”

The Dolphins denied Flores’ claims in a statement to CNN.

“This latest assertion by Brian Flores that Steve Ross mentioned an NDA to him is categorically false. This just did not happen, and we simply cannot understand why Brian continues this pattern of making unfounded statements that he knows are untrue,” the team’s statement said. “We are fully cooperating with the NFL investigation and look forward to all of the facts coming out which we are confident will prove that his claims are false and defamatory.”

In response, Flores’ attorneys tweeted what they said were screenshots of the agreement.

“In response to the #Dolphins calling Brian Flores’ assertion of an NDA ‘categorically false,’ below are screenshots from the draft agreement & payment termination notice,” the attorneys tweeted. “If #BrianFlores had signed this, he would have been gagged and unable to talk about his experience.”

During the interview, Flores said he has not spoken to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick since he made public their infamous text exchange, which is one of the cornerstones of his lawsuit.

Flores claims the NFL discriminates when it comes to hiring Black coaches and executives. As evidence, he included texts he said are from Belichick. Flores was set to interview with the New York Giants for a head coach position. So he was confused when Belichick sent him a text congratulating him on getting the job, Flores told CNN in a Feb. 2 interview. When Flores informed Belicheck he had yet to have an interview, the coach told Flores he had heard he was a shoo-in.

Then in a later text, Belichick apologized, saying he had misread the information, and that actually the Giants intended to hire Brian Daboll as head coach.

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“There’s potential that we could run into each other. I’d be open to a conversation, but no,” Flores answered Gumbel when he was asked if he’d tried to make contact with Belichick. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Users on social media were divided on the subject.

“Mr. Flores cannot fault an owner for holding him accountable. He’s the coach. The race card should not be used in this instance,” user @SamuelForsythe2 wrote. “However, there are more than a few teams(not Miami) that race is an issue. Clearly, there are very competent black coaches available not coaching.”

“Accountable for what? Winning? Culture? Not playing the “game”? I would have been the first to say he is not a good coach at the beginning of his tenure, but he proved that he was a qualified and capable coach,” @kkalu debated. “Let’s revisit this at the end of the year.”

PHOTO: Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores gestures on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)





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