One day after filing a lawsuit against the NFL and its teams over allegedly discriminatory hiring practices, Brian Flores made the media rounds. Appearing on multiple outlets on Wednesday, the former Miami Dolphins head coach and long-time assistant with the New England Patriots spoke about his motivations behind this potentially career-altering move.
Flores denied purely personal motives and instead pointed towards his wish to bring systematic change to a league that has a long and unsatisfactory history with race-related issues.
“I love coaching football. I’m called to coach football. I’m gifted to coach football. And I still want to coach, let’s be clear about that. But this is bigger than coaching. This is bigger than me,” he said on CNN. The numbers speak for themselves as far as the hiring, firing and the lack of opportunities for minority and black head coaches and executives in the National Football League. We need to change. We need things to change. ...
“This isn’t about me, and I understand that. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than football. Many have come before and done a lot to create change in this country for people of color, and I just felt like in this instance it was my turn to step up and be an agent for change. I’m proud to do that.”
Flores originally entered the NFL as a scouting assistant with the Patriots in 2004, and over the following years climbed up the organizational ladder. By 2018, he was serving as the team’s top defensive coach and was calling signals en route to a championship.
He was hired by the Dolphins shortly after the Patriots’ win in Super Bowl LIII and led them to a 24-25 record over his three-year tenure. When he was fired earlier this year, he was coming off his second straight winning season — becoming the first Miami head coach to accomplish the feat since Dave Wannstedt in 2003.
Flores did interview with the New York Giants a short time later, with that interview at the center of his lawsuit. As the class action suit claims, Flores was led to believe he had a chance at the job when the team had already decided to hire Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
According to his statements on Wednesday, however, Flores is not looking for revenge against the Giants or Dolphins but rather trying to force the league to become more inclusive with its hiring practices. The main driving force for the 40-year-old are his kids.
“When I look at them I don’t want them to go through some of the things that I had to go through. That was the same for the people that came before me as well: they were thinking about me, even though I wasn’t here yet,” Flores said.
“That was a big thing, and then I think of all the coaches even on my staff; I’m talking about guys on my previous staff in Miami who I know are more than capable, who are gifted to coach in this league, to lead. I just want them to have the opportunity to stand in front of an owner and have a real opportunity to get one of those jobs and lead a team.”