Texans To Be Added To Brian Flores Lawsuit, Alleging Retaliation By The Team
According to Pro Football Talk, former Dolphins coach Brian Flores is revising his case to include a retaliation allegation against the Texans. Flores is already suing the league for alleged hiring discrimination against black coaches and executives.
Flores was a finalist for the Texans’ head coaching job, but the organization chose to hire Lovie Smith as the next head coach instead. Smith, who served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach on David Culley’s staff last year, was not publicly considered a contender for the position until after Flores’ lawsuit was filed.
Smith was the head coach at Illinois from 2016-2020, prior to coming to the Texans. He also served as the head coach of the Bears from 2004-2012, and then the Buccaneers head coach for two season from 2014-2015.
During Lovie Smith’ introductory press conference as head coach of the Texans, GM Nick Caserio mentioned the Flores situation and said how it didn’t affect the hiring process.
Caserio mentions how he had known Brian a long time personally and professionally. He adds how he has a lot of respect for Brian as a coach and a person and that he was a part of this process.
“He’s been a good coach in this league for a number of years. Part of my responsibility was to spend time with as many quality candidates as possible and Brian was one of those,” Caserio said.
Flores, former Quarterback Josh McCown, and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon were said to be the contenders for the Texans’ head coaching position.
When the hiring of Lovie Smith was made, Flores’ legal team put out a statement regarding the Texans new hire.
“Mr. Flores is happy to hear that the Texans have hired a Black head coach, Lovie Smith, as Mr. Flores’ goal in bringing his case is to provide real opportunities for Black and minority candidates to be considered for coaching and executive positions within the NFL,” the statement said.
“However, we would be remiss not to mention that Mr. Flores was one of three finalists for the Texans’ head coach position and, after a great interview and mutual interest, it is obvious that the only reason Mr. Flores was not selected was his decision to stand up against racial inequality across the NFL.”
The NFL is allegedly looking into Flores’ accusations that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for each defeat in 2019 in exchange for a better selection pick.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, if Flores’ charges are proven to be accurate, the consequences may be severe, including Ross losing his club to a vote of other owners.
The Dolphins had won five of their last nine games after starting the 2019 season with seven straight defeats. Tua Tagovailoa was picked with the fifth overall choice in the 2020 NFL draft. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier allegedly informed Flores that Ross was concerned because the team’s late wins were “compromising their draft position.”
There were reports that Flores never wanted Tua as the quarterback, and there was some dispute on whether the Dolphins should pick him.
Flores also said in his lawsuit that the Giants simply interviewed him to comply with the Rooney Rule, which compels clubs to interview minority applicants for vacant coaching positions. Flores also said that former Broncos general manager John Elway showed up for his interview inebriated in 2019.
The NFL initially said that Flores claims were without merit, but then released a statement saying they take the claims very seriously, especially the Stephen Ross allegations. If the NFL finds Ross did offer Flores money to intentionally lose games, Ross could also face federal charges if law enforcement decides to investigate.