In a new putative class action complaint filed today, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores accuses the NFL of racial discrimination in hiring. One aspect of the allegations concerns the “Rooney Rule,” by which teams are supposed to interview at least one diverse candidate when coaching and management vacancies arise.
Flores claims to have endured a “sham” interview with the New York Giants, seemingly designed to satisfy the Rooney Rule. The interview was a sham, the complaint alleges, because Patriots coach Bill Belichik, apparently by mistake, sent Flores a congratulatory text (depicted below) that was intended for another “Brian” candidate, Brian Daboll, which was sent before Flores was even interviewed — revealing that the Giants had already filled the position before the team went through the motions of interviewing Flores.
Flores alleges that, after receiving the texts, he was “forced to sit through a dinner with Joe Schoen, the Giant’s new General Manager, knowing that the Giants had already selected Mr. Daboll. Much worse, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, Mr. Flores had to give an extensive interview for a job that he already knew he would not get—an interview that was held for no reason other than for the Giants to demonstrate falsely to the League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the public at large that it was in compliance with the Rooney Rule.”
A judge hasn’t yet been assigned.