As the NFL celebrates a competitive Super Bowl that featured an extra-Black halftime show, the league still can’t shake its biggest controversy–the discrimination lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.
The latest update: Flores is reportedly preparing to add the Houston Texans to the list of teams named in his suit, which accuses the NFL, the Dolphins, the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos so far, of discriminating against him and other Black head coaches. Ironically–or maybe intentionally–the Texans and Dolphins are the only teams out of nine openings to have hired nonwhite coaches this offseason. The Texans promoted Lovie Smith after their awful treatment of David Culley and the Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel, who identifies as biracial, after they fired Flores in spite of his two straight winning records out of three seasons at the helm.
Flores’ argument for adding the Texans to his list stems from the fact that the team had interviewed him before he filed his lawsuit against the league, but, his attorney alleges, only pulled back after Flores sued the NFL.
Obviously, the Texans will never admit that they passed over Flores for an illegal reason. Rarely if ever does an employer confess to improper motivations for employment decisions. Proof of retaliatory intent would come from other less obvious forms evidence.
Flores was one of the three finalists for the job. Then, the job went to Lovie Smith. Common sense suggests that the Texans realized they couldn’t hire unproven and inexperienced Josh McCown, and they wouldn’t hire Flores. Smith became the compromise candidate, arguably thrown into the mix late to allow the Texans to avoid hiring Flores.
It’s arguable that the Texans job might have been the worst possible landing spot for Flores out of all the openings in the league. The team has holes all over its roster, starting with a big question mark at the QB spot as franchise signal caller Deshaun Watson’s legal troubles linger. Still, it’s no excuse for the Texans to have passed on Flores if their only reason was his suit against the league.