The New York Giants have responded to former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who sued the NFL, and three other teams, including the Giants, for racial discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, Flores believed his interview with New York was a “sham,” and the team interviewed him to satisfy The Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates.
The Dolphins fired the 40-year-old Flores in January after two consecutive winning seasons.
Here is a statement from the Giants on Flores’ allegations:
“Brian Flores has raised serious issues in the filing of his complaint. 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.
“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, one day after Mr. Flores spent an entire day in our offices going through his second interview for the position, meeting with ownership and other staff members, and receiving a tour of our facility. (See the itinerary below). There is additional concrete and objective evidence to substantiate we did not make our decision until the evening of the 28th.”
According to the lawsuit, before Flores’ second interview with New York, he received text messages from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, his former boss in New England. In those texts, which were allegedly meant for the newest Giants head coach Brian Daboll, Belichick said the following: “Got it – I hear from Buffalo and NYG that you are their guy. Hope it works out if you want it to!”
The Giants responded to the texts from Belichick:
“The allegation that the Giants’ decision had been made prior to Friday evening, January 28, is false. And to base that allegation on a text exchange with Bill Belichick in which he ultimately states that he “thinks” Brian Daboll would get the job is irresponsible. The text exchange occurred the day before Coach Daboll’s in-person interview even took place. Giants’ ownership would never hire a head coach based only on a 20-minute zoom interview, which is all that Mr. Daboll had at that point.
In addition, Mr. Belichick does not speak for and has no affiliation with the Giants. Mr. Belichick’s text exchange provides no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search.”
Giants also added the following about Flores in their statement:
“It has been well documented how much research and due diligence we did on Mr. Flores as it related to his candidacy. John Mara called Mr. Flores two days after he was dismissed in Miami. Mr. Mara expressed to Mr. Flores in that January 12 call that once we had our new general manager in place, we would begin the process of hiring our head coach, and we wanted to meet with Mr. Flores because we considered him a serious candidate for the position. Mr. Mara and Mr. Flores then had their first formal conversation in a 25-30 minute zoom call on January 18 (at Mr. Flores’ request) to further discuss his candidacy.
“In between those initial conversations and Mr. Flores’ in-person interview on January 27, there were several other communications between Mr. Flores and members of our organization. This included a dinner with our newly hired general manager, Joe Schoen, the night before Mr. Flores’s in-person interview. The consensus from within the Giants organization after this dinner remained that Mr. Flores was an outstanding candidate, and we looked forward to sitting down with him in person the next day.
“Our hiring process and, most certainly, our consideration of Mr. Flores was serious and genuine. We are disappointed to learn that Mr. Flores was under the mistaken impression the job had already been awarded.
“In his CBS interview yesterday, Mr. Flores was asked if “clubs have the right to hire the person they think is the best qualified for the job or the person they feel is right for them?” Mr. Flores responded “They do. That’s very reasonable to me . . .”. That is exactly what we did.
“We hired Brian Daboll as our head coach at the conclusion of an open and thorough interview process. No decision was made, and no job offer was extended, until the evening of January 28, a full day after Mr. Flores’ in-person interview and day-long visit to the Giants.”