Well, one of about a hundred smoking guns. But who’s counting?
All those hoping for Brian Flores to return to the New England Patriots‘ sideline immediately to coach up the defense are likely having second thoughts about the likelihood of such events after Tuesday afternoon.
At least, for the time being.
Allegations against the Dolphins include owner Stephen Ross offering Flores $100,000 bounties per loss in the name of throwing games midway through yet another losing season to further tank, but much of Flores’ lawsuit centers around hiring practices and the Rooney Rule.
Specifically, his complaint against the Giants alleges that the team had already handed the head coaching job to Brian Daboll in a handshake agreement days before he’d ever interviewed — something he reportedly knew because of a series of congratulatory text messages sent to the wrong Brian.
Patriots HC Bill Belichick text messages could take down Giants in Brian Flores lawsuit.
Whether Belichick believed he was texting Daboll and reached out to Flores, or whether he “misread the text” from the Giants or Bills is irrelevant to determine. Regardless of the reason behind the message, Flores alleges Belichick knew the former Patriots assistant would not be hired by the Giants three days prior to his interview, forcing him to participate in a sham process with the winner already decided.
The Rooney Rule has long been derided for creating false opportunities for minority head coaches simply to check a box, and Flores believes he has evidence in hand of that exact behavior — thanks to a Belichick misfire.
Statements from the Giants combat this allegation; the team continues to insist Flores was a candidate for their position until the “11th hour” of the proceedings.
Whether the Giants are dinged for a violation thanks to Bill Belichick text messages or not, Flores hopes to enact plenty of change in the NFL, including but not limited to the following actions:
"Ensure diversity of ownership by creating and funding a committee dedicated to sourcing Black investors to take majority ownership stakes in NFL Teams;Ensure diversity of decision-making by permitting select Black players and coaches to participate in the interviewing process for General Manager, Head Coach and Offensive and Defensive Coordinator positions;Require NFL Teams to reduce to writing the rationale for hiring and termination decisions, including a full explanation of the basis for any subjective influences (e.g., trust, personality, interview performance, etc.);Increase the number of Black Offensive and Defensive Coordinators"
He may someday return to the Patriots’ sideline once this has resolved itself, but for now, Belichick has found himself unwittingly at the center of a firestorm for the league.