Former Miami Dolphins head coach and current Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the National Football League, the Dolphins, the New York Giants, and the Denver Broncos on February 1—purposely on the first day of Black History Month—alleging racial discrimination in hiring and other practices within the league.
Flores was still in the process of interviewing with teams while filing the lawsuit, and insisted that one would not impede his efforts toward the other. He remained a finalist for the head coaching job with the Houston Texans, a job that ultimately went to Lovie Smith, who like Flores, is a minority.
It was reported that Flores’ team intended to amend the original lawsuit to allege that he would have been hired for the Texans head coaching job had it not been for the lawsuit being filed, adding the Texans to the lawsuit.
According to Pro Football Talk, Flores’ attorney, Douglas Widgor, requested adjournment of a Tuesday conference in order to file an amended complaint. It may be fairly assumed that the delay is related to the previous report about their intentions of adding the Texans as a defendant to the lawsuit.
Originally, the NFL was due to respond to the complaint any day now, having been more than 30 days since the original complaint was filed. With the pending amendment to the lawsuit, which is expected to be filed some time between now and April 11, they will not have to respond until 45 days from the filing of the amended suit.
In other words, we may not hear a response from the defendants in Flores’ case until late May, likely as OTA sessions get underway and rookie minicamp has passed. I don’t think there is any significant reason to believe that the NFL would not take all the time allotted to it before responding.
So it’s safe to say that this is not going to disappear any time soon, but I imagine at least the majority of us went into this process with that understanding. We should be prepared for the reality that, at some point, players and coaches will be asked questions about it, and Flores will certainly field a large number of questions about it.
The 41-year-old has already made multiple media appearances since filing the lawsuit to discuss that very topic, including an extended appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast with Brandon Marshall, in a discussion that also included Chad Ochocinco and Miami Herald reporter Omar Kelly.
The Steelers announced the hiring of Flores to his current position just weeks after the initial lawsuit was filed. He himself has said that he called Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin seeking advice, and by the time the conversation was over, he had a job offer, which he gladly accepted.