U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni has issued a written ruling that lawyers for former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores might not gather additional evidence from defendants to support their arguments that the case in the Manhattan federal court should stay in court rather than be sent to arbitration.
“Because Plaintiffs should know whether they entered into any other contracts or agreements that would affect their agreement to arbitrate, the Court can only assume that they are attempting to embark on an impermissible fishing expedition,” she said.
Flores filed a lawsuit for a discrimination case against the NFL. Flores, who was fired by the Dolphins, sued the NFL and his former employers for discriminatory actions. He also accused the Denver Broncos and New York Giants of discriminating against him during his interviews with the team.
Obvious that the NFL wanted to punish the Dolphins but make sure the competitive interests/tanking were not the reasoning. Would open a new can of worms on validity of outcome of games in which their new gambling partners would not be happy with. @Josheenyoo @Sports247Guy https://t.co/yAXk0da9H2
— chef beijos (@Raul_The_Chef) August 2, 2022
The 58-page lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court Tuesday. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has responded to the lawsuit, saying that the allegation was disturbing and the league would take it seriously.
“I found all of the allegations — whether they were based on racism or discrimination or the integrity of the game — all of those, to me, were very disturbing,” Goodell said.
“They are very serious matters to us on all levels and we need to make sure we get to the bottom of all of them. Integrity of the game is obviously an important element, just as is making sure we have the right culture in our organizations across the league and clubs.”
Through lawyer Loretta Lynch, the NFL pushed the court to bring the case into arbitrations.
“It is the defendant’s position that all the matters raised by the plaintiffs,” she said. “All are covered by the arbitration agreement.”
Flores claimed that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross interfered with his job by offering him $100,000 for every loss last season. Later, the New York-native coach said he was disrespected.
Giants deny allegations
The four-time Super Bowl champion accused that his job interview with the Giants was just a formality to the NFL’s Rooney Rules. It was a rule that stipulated that all 32 clubs must interview at least two women and/or persons of color when seeking to fill prominent positions.
The Giants have denied the allegations, saying that the team’s recruitment process was already based on the mechanism.
“We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates,” the team said. “The fact of the matter is, Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour. Ultimately, we hired the individual we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach.”
Flores also accused the Broncos of committing the same action in 2019. He said the then-Denver general manager John Elway was not acting appropriately by coming late and was hungover.
“Pages of detailed notes, analysis and evaluations from our interview demonstrate the depth of our conversation and sincere interest in Mr. Flores as a head coaching candidate,” the team said. “Our process was thorough and fair to determine the most qualified candidate for our head coaching position.
“The Broncos will vigorously defend the integrity and values of our organization and its employees from such baseless and disparaging claims.”
Flores, who is currently working for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said he was aware that he might put his career in jeopardy by filing all the lawsuits against the NFL and those teams.
“In making the decision to file the class action complaint today, I understand that I may be risking coaching the game that I love and that has done so much for my family and me,” he said.
“My sincere hope is that by standing up against systemic racism in the NFL, others will join me to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come.”