Steelers hire Brian Flores weeks after he sued the NFL for racial discrimination
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The Pittsburgh Steelers named former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as its senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach, the team said Saturday. The announcement comes weeks after Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and several of its teams for racial discrimination.
“I am excited about Brian Flores joining our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement Saturday. “Brian’s resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team.”
Flores began his career with the New England Patriots, where he spent 11 seasons in various coaching positions, according to the Steelers. He arrived at the team after playing football at Boston College. In 2019, Flores was hired as the head coach of the Dolphins. After leading the team to back-to-back winning seasons, Flores was fired.
Earlier this month, Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, the New York Giants, the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos and unnamed individuals for several instances of alleged racial discrimination.
Among the allegations in the lawsuit, Flores claims that the Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him $100,000 for every loss during the coach’s first season because Ross wanted to protect the team’s draft pick. Flores said standing up against Ross hurt his standing within the organization and led to his firing.
The lawsuit, which sought unspecified damages, also claims that the Giants had already chosen someone as their new coach before Flores interviewed for the position. Flores also alleged that when he interviewed for the head coach position with the Broncos, interviewers arrived late and hungover.
The NFL, Dolphins, Broncos and Giants have denied the lawsuit’s claims. A law firm including former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the Obama administration has been hired by the NFL to defend it and its teams, CBS Miami reported.
Today, there are three minority head coaches out of 32 in the league. The Steelers’ Tomlin is one of them. Meanwhile, about 70% of players in the NFL are Black.
“We didn’t have to file a lawsuit for the world to know that there’s a problem from a hiring standpoint in regards to minority coaches in the National Football League,” Flores exclusively told “CBS Mornings.” “The numbers speak for themselves. We filed the lawsuit so that we could create some change and that’s important to me.”
Analisa Novak contributed reporting.