Challenging Racism in the NFL 


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MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 09: Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins takes the field during introductions prior to the game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Owen Harker, Staff Writer


Brian Flores, known to be one of the best coaches in the NFL and having back to back winning seasons in the NFL with one of its poorer rosters, was fired. Many people were confused over why he was fired, after examining the class action lawsuit that he recently brought to the Manhattan district court. It seems that there is a lot more going on than what meets the eye. There is a conspiracy in the NFL and to understand it you have to understand corruption in NFL organizations and the NFL’s racist past from the first game in 1920 to Super Bowl 56. 


It all started with a text from one of the most infamous coaches in the NFL, Bill Belichick. The text indicated that Flores had landed the job as head coach, and at the end of the conversation, Flores asked Belichick if he meant to send the text to Brian Daboll, which was indeed the case. This meant that Flores had to wait in agony for days just to have an interview that he knew he would have no shot at. 


This is not the first time that this has happened to Flores. A couple of years earlier in 2019, Flores had an interview to be the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos. General manager John Elway and President and CEO of the Broncos showed up an hour late according to Flores and he believed that they never had any intention to hire him at all as shortly after the interview they announced their head coach hiring Vic Fangio. 


To understand why he was even interviewed, you have to understand the NFL’s racist past. According to the Class Action Lawsuit filed by Flores, the NFL has a, “tortured and unacceptable history with race relations.” The Original NFL started off with 9 players and when the NFL was viable and no longer had rosters that needed to be filled, no black man played NFL from 1934 to 1945 as a gentleman’s agreement led by George Preston Marshall, then owner of the Redskins, to not allow any black men on his team or any other team.  Even after 1945, there was very little racial integration until there was outrage due to the AFL’s (American Football League: a competing football league) inclusion. Even after the merger with the AFL and racial integration, it was still hard to be a black man in the NFL with the lack of black players in the deemed “positions of intelligence”, including quarterback (there was no black quarterback until the 1980s). All of this in the past led to the creation of the Rooney Rule. 


The Rooney Rule was created in the early 2000s after a committee led by Steelers president Dan Rooney issued a recommendation that all teams have to interview at least one minority coach in their hiring process. This new rule failed. Since its passage, only 15 black head coaches have been hired and today there is only one black head coach in the NFL, with only 5 coaches of color overall. There are fewer black head coaches now than there were when the rule was put into place. While the Rooney Rule is well intentioned, it is not enough to put black coaches at an equal footing with white coaches.  


One other contributing factor is the shady and rule-violating acts of Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross. Two issues were raised in the Class Action Lawsuit. One of them is that Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross offered Flores $100,000 dollars for each loss that season. There was also a violation of the tampering rule as Ross wanted Flores to meet with him on a ship where a possible future quarterback was there for a meeting. This violated the rule as this quarterback was signed to another team, (believed to be Tom Brady), and Flores left as soon as he saw what was going on, painting a picture of a person that Ross could not trust. 


While Flores stood up to Ross and did not take part in his schemes, this put a negative image of Flores, in Ross’s mind along with the NFL’s issues with race, caused his firing. Racism is blatantly apparent in the NFL today, with the treatment of Colin Kaepernick and the recent Jon Gruden emails. Racism is still a huge issue in the NFL and was a major reason why Brian Flores was unfairly fired and unfairly treated.