Fired Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores explained in an interview Sunday why he claimed the NFL is a modern day “plantation.”
During an interview with NPR’s Jay Williams, Flores was pressed on comments he made comparing the NFL to a plantation, in spite of the fact that league players are paid millions of dollars. The former head coach filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos alleging racially discriminatory hiring practices. (RELATED: Buccaneers Remove Head Coach Jon Gruden From Ring Of Honor In Stadium)
“Because some people would say, ‘How can this be a plantation when you have the majority of players who are making millions of dollars, and you’re creating generational wealth?'” Williams asked. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
“It’s a hard thing to do. But I wasn’t going to be able to live with myself — I was going to have a lot of regrets — if I didn’t speak up right now,” Brian Flores tells @janecoaston. Read the full Q&A. https://t.co/ALvUaMrG1H
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 6, 2022
“A modern form of that, is probably was the idea behind those words. And that’s what it is,” Flores explained. “Ownership’s predominately white, or all white — excuse me, not even predominately, all white. The workforce is 70% black. The leadership of the workforce, there’s one black head coach.”
“Again, I think we need to focus on the fact that there’s a need for change. There’s a need for black leadership, minority leadership, women in leadership in the National Football League,” Flores added.
In the lawsuit, Flores claimes the league is “racially segregated.”
“In certain critical ways, the NFL is racially segregated and is managed much like a plantation,” the lawsuit read, the Rolling Stone magazine reported. “Its 32 owners — none of whom are Black — profit substantially from the labor of NFL players, 70% of whom are Black.”
“The owners watch the games from atop NFL stadiums in their luxury boxes, while their majority-Black workforce put their bodies on the line every Sunday, taking vicious hits and suffering debilitating injuries to their bodies and their brains while the NFL and its owners reap billions of dollars,” the lawsuit states.
The former head coach accused the Giants of only interviewing him in order to be in compliance with the league’s Rooney Rule. Under the rule, teams must interview at least two minority candidates not associated with their team when they have open head coaching positions, ESPN noted.
The Giants, who later hired Brian Daboll, denied the allegation. In a statement the team said, “specific claims against the Giants and Mr. Flores’ allegations about the legitimacy of his candidacy for our head coach position are disturbing and simply false.”
“We hired Brian Daboll as our head coach at the conclusion of an open and thorough interview process. No decision was made, and no job offer was extended, until the evening of January 28, a full day after Mr. Flores’ in-person interview and day-long visit to the Giants,” the statement added.
The Broncos are named regarding a 2019 interview he had with the team. In the suit, he alleged that Elway and several others “showed up an hour late to the interview” looking “completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had drinking (sic) heavily the night before.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is also mentioned, and Flores claimed the owner allegedly offered him $100,000 for every game the team lost that season, ESPN noted.
The Dolphins have issued a statement that they “vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination.” A statement from the Broncos called the allegations against the team “blatantly false,” according to the Denver Post. The NFL also said in a statement Flores’ claims were “without merit.”