Miami (AP) – Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores believes the race was a factor in the team’s decision to fire him in January.
Speaking on the I Am Athlete podcast, co-hosted by former NFL receivers Chad Johnson and Brendan Marshall and Omar Kelly of South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Flores said he was given assignments he said the white head coach didn’t need. Flores went 25-24 for three seasons with Miami before being released on Jan. 10.
Flores, who was hired last weekend as a senior assistant to defend the Pittsburgh Steelers, has filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL over racist hiring practices. Flores has no plans to drop the lawsuit, even if he is back to coach in the league.
“I think race played a role in my dismissal,” Flores said in a podcast. “I mean what I was asked to do. There were conversations that were. I was considered a person who is difficult to work with. I don’t think my white colleagues would be asked to do what they asked me to do. “
Flores did not offer specifics about what the Dolphins asked of him, which he considered racial.
Flores, who turns 41 on Thursday, is now at the headquarters, headed by Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh, one of the three black coaches in the league along with Lowe Smith of Houston and Mike McDeniels of Miami, who identifies himself as a two-year-old. Flores interviewed the job, which eventually went to Smith, who last season was the assistant head coach of the Texans. Flores claimed he was not hired because of his lawsuit against the league.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday that Flores ’hiring was based on Flores’ track record. Flores won four Super Cup rings with the New England Patriots and made a defensive shot during the 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, giving the franchise its sixth championship.
“I think (hiring) says we’ve hired a very good defense coach who can help us win games,” Colbert said. “And really, other than that, there’s nothing more to say.”
Flores, like other assistant black coaches in the league, including Pittsburgh Steelers defense coordinator Teryl Austin, believes NFL owners – 30 out of 32 whites – are just more likely to choose leaders who reflect what they see in the mirror every morning. .
“We need to change our minds,” Flores said. “We have to open our minds.”
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