Brian Flores, formerly the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, claims that his team’s decision to fire him in January was influenced by his race.
Flores made these claims during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast hosted by former NFL wide receivers Chad Johnson and Brandon Marshall, as well as Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Flores was released by Miami on January 10 after a three-year stint in which he posted a 25-24 record.
After being hired as a senior defensive assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the weekend, Flores immediately filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL, accusing the league of engaging in racist hiring practices. Despite Flores’s return to coaching in the league, he has no plans to drop the lawsuit.
As Flores explained on the podcast, he believes that his dismissal was partially due to his race. To clarify, what I mean is that I was tasked with a number of responsibilities.
People spoke to one another. The impression was given that I would be a pain to work with. If I had been white, I don’t think I would have been asked to do some of the things I did. Flores did not elaborate on the specific demands of the Dolphins that he found racist.
Then The “Editor’s Note” Appeared
It would have been possible to prevent Deadspin’s disastrous misstep. McDaniel’s history can be found by doing a quick Google search.
Despite the fact that 70% of the league’s players are people of color, there have been a disproportionately small number of Black head coaches in the league’s history.
For his part, McDaniel thinks it’s “odd” that so many people are preoccupied with his race. At his introductory news conference on Wednesday, the first-year head coach confirmed as much when asked by a reporter:
To tell you the truth, the concept of ‘identifying’ as something has been “very odd,” as McDaniel put it. “Even though I know that others see me as a certain category, my dad is Black, so I guess I’m just a human being. And I’m sure there are many others who have had something similar happen to them, no matter what you choose to label it. Strangely, it arises now, after all my efforts to improve my character.”
McDaniel’s remarks add to an ongoing discussion about the impact of race on the NFL’s personnel selection process, particularly for high-profile roles like a head coach and general manager. McDaniel’s predecessor at Miami, Flores, who is Black, filed a suit claiming NFL teams engage in sham interviews that, while technically adhering to the Rooney Rule, violate its spirit because many teams end up hiring white candidates.
Miami Dolphins New Head Coach Is Biracial, Sparking Debate About Racial Diversity In NFL Coaching Staffs
The Miami Dolphins have hired Mike McDaniel, the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, to be their next head coach. He is the fourth minority coach in the NFL.
The 38-year-old, who is multi-racial, is now one of only four minority head coaches in the 32-team league, joining multi-racial Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders, multi-ethnic Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and multi-ethnic Robert Saleh of the New York Jets. McDaniel is the first person of color to be hired as a head coach in this cycle.
In the wake of former head coach Brian Flores suing the Dolphins, the team has hired McDaniel. Flores, who is African-American, has filed a lawsuit against the Miami Dolphins, two other teams, and the National Football League (NFL), alleging discrimination and racist hiring practices.
Flores added that, in an effort to secure the number one overall pick in the NFL draught, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross allegedly offered the first-year head coach $100,000 for each loss. As a result, Ross released a statement in which he labeled Flores’ allegations as “false, malicious, and defamatory.”
The NFL’s lack of diversity among head coaches was called “unacceptable” by Commissioner Roger Goodell in a memo he released over the weekend in response to the Flores controversy.
Goodell admitted that the league’s efforts to diversify its coaching staff were unsuccessful. “We have made significant efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs which have produced positive change in many areas,” Goodell said.
McDaniel has been in the NFL since 2005 when he began as an intern with the Denver Broncos. The Yale grad worked as an offensive assistant for the Houston Texans for three years and then as a receivers coach and offensive assistant for the Washington Redskins for another three years. After playing for the Falcons and Browns, he joined the 49ers in 2017.
According to ESPN’s reporting, the Rooney Rule will reward the 49ers with two draught picks for helping to advance a minority assistant coach to the head coaching position. Since its inception in 2003, the Rooney Rule has mandated that, whenever a head coaching position is open, teams must initially interview a person from a historically underrepresented group.
McDaniel will enter his sixteenth season as an NFL head coach in 2022. While with the San Francisco 49ers, he served as their run game specialist in 2017, run game coordinator in 2018, and offensive coordinator in 2021. He was with the team for a total of five seasons (2017-2021).