DEFENSE: NFL Team Owners Issue Strong Statements Denying Racism Allegations
The Brian Flores class-action lawsuit against the NFL for racial discrimination has caused an uproar across the league.
Yesterday, former Washington Football Team employees met with congress and gave statements on allegations of workplace misconduct at the WFT franchise under Dan Snyder.
During the session, the Flores lawsuit was brought up, with Rep. Wasserman Schultz mentioning how she thinks that the NFL has failed to address racism within teams in the league.
Rep. Wasserman said that the alleged failure by the NFL to address those types of issues should result in re-examining the league’s antitrust exemption.
Following the lawsuit filing, all three teams alleged by Flores to have engaged in discrimination against him released statements.
The New York Giants denied the allegations in their statement.
Brian Flores accused New York of organizing a sham interview with Flores after the team had already decided on its next head coach, former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
“Brian Flores has raised serious issues in the filing of his complaint,” the Giants said. “The specific claims against the Giants and Mr. Flores’ allegations about the legitimacy of his candidacy for our head coach position are disturbing and simply false.”
The Giants went on to give more details on its hiring process.
“After we interviewed six exceptional and diverse candidates, the decision on who we would hire as head coach was made on the evening of January 28.”
The decision, the Giants say, came one day after Flores spent an entire day at the team’s facility for his second interview with the team, meeting with ownership and other staff members, and receiving a tour of the facility.
New York also gave an explanation for the text message scandal involving Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in which Belichick mistakenly texted Flores telling him he got the job when he meant to text Daboll.
“Mr. Belichick does not speak for and has no affiliation with the Giants.” The Giants referred to the texts from Belichick to Flores as ‘irresponsible’.
“Mr. Belichick’s text exchange provides no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search,” the Giants said.
Broncos president of football operations John Elway also released a statement as well, stating that he “took Brian Flores very seriously as a candidate in 2019.”
Flores, describing his 2019 interview with Denver, claims Elway showed up late to the interview and looked “disheveled” from a night of drinking.
Responding to the allegation that the Broncos appeared hungover in their interview, Elway states, “For Brian to make an assumption about my appearance and state of mind early that morning was subjective, hurtful and just plain wrong.”
Elway continued, “If I appeared “disheveled”, as he claimed, it was because we had flown in during the middle of the night — immediately following another interview in Denver — and were going on a few hours of sleep to meet the only window provided to us.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also released a statement regarding the allegations by Flores that Ross offered him $100k per loss to tank so the Dolphins could access a top overall draft pick.
Ross said: “With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding.”
“I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory.”
Ross continued, “We understand there are media stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization, from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims.”
All three statements by the NFL owners/teams denied any wrongdoing on their part. Stephen Ross is currently being probed by the NFL for the alleged bribery attempt on Flores, which if proven true could be a federal crime. Attempting to fix a sporting event could result in prison time or serious fines if proven true.
Yesterday, NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported that he has a source who says there is a witness that overheard Ross offering Flores that money to throw games.
For more on the Flores lawsuit and particular details, check here.