Bill Belichick’s text message exchange at center of Brian Flores’ race discrimination lawsuit vs. NFL, Giants
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick accidentally provided evidence for former Miami Dolphins coach and Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores’ lawsuit alleging racial discrimination from the NFL and the New York Giants.
In a private text message exchange, Belichick indicated the New York Giants had secretly decided to hire Brian Daboll, then the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator, despite continuing their interview process with Brian Flores to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams interview at least two minority candidates for head coaching openings. Belichick texted Flores to congratulate him, only to realize he should have been contacting Daboll. This mixup text exchange occurred three days before Flores interviewed with New York, indicating that interview was a total sham.
Belichick’s exchange was one of many pieces of evidence presented in the legal filing. Belichick and the Patriots were not directly accused of racism in the lawsuit, however.
Flores’ suit included a handful of other accusations, including allegations that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted multiple times to get the former coach to break the NFL’s tampering rules and meet with a “prominent quarterback” in 2019. Flores also alleges that Ross said he would pay the coach $100,000 for every loss in 2019. Why? Ross wanted the team to tank for No. 1 pick. Flores wouldn’t do it and the team had the final record of 5-11 and finished 5-4 in the final nine games.
“God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals,” Flores told NFL Network on Tuesday. “In making the decision to file the class action complaint, I understand that I may be risking coaching the game I love.”