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'False, Malicious And Defamatory': Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross On Allegations Made In Brian Flores' Lawsuit

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has fired back after former coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit claiming racist hiring practices and discrimination in the NFL.

In his 58 page lawsuit, Flores made an explosive claim that during the 2019 season, Ross offered to pay him $100,000 for every loss so the team could have a better draft pick. Flores said he refused to agree to that.

A year later, the lawsuit claims, Ross tried ambushing Flores into meeting the "prominent quarterback," but Flores left before such a gathering took place.

"From that point forward, Mr. Flores was ostracized and ultimately he was fired. He was subsequently defamed throughout the media and the League as he was labeled by the Dolphins brass as someone who was difficult to work with. This is reflective of an all too familiar "angry black man" stigma that is often cast upon Black men who are strong in their morals and convictions while white men are coined as passionate for those very same attributes," the lawsuit states.

Flores said he could back up his claims against Ross, according to a report from the NFL Network.

In the statement released late Wednesday night, Ross denies the allegations.

"With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding. I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory. We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that Investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins Organization, from the baseless, unfair and disparaging claims."

Flores has sued the NFL, Miami Dolphins, and two other NFL teams, claiming racist hiring practices for coaches and general managers.

Click Here To Read The Full Class Action Lawsuit

In the lawsuit, Flores claimed he faced discrimination regarding his interview process with the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.

The lawsuit claims New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick texted Flores instead of Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll congratulating him for landing the New York Giants' head coaching job before Flores had an interview with the team.

"So last week, I interviewed for the Giants position. I was set to interview on Thursday, the Monday prior. Before it, before I interviewed, I received a text message from Bill Belichick saying congratulations on the Giants, essentially a congratulations on the Giants job. There was a little bit of back and forth and some confusion. (At one point) I just asked him, is he talking to the right, Brian? And as you've seen through the text messages, he was actually thought he was texting Brian Daboll," said Flores.

According to the lawsuit, this apparently wasn't the first time that Flores was used to comply with the Rooney Rule.

"Indeed, in 2019 Mr. Flores was scheduled to interview with the Denver Broncos. However, the Broncos' then-General Manager John Elway, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis, and others, showed up an hour late to the interview. They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had drinking heavily the night before. It was clear from the substance of the interview that Mr. Flores was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule, and that the Broncos never had any intention to consider him as a legitimate candidate for the job. Shortly thereafter, Vic Fangio, a white man, was hired to be the Head Coach of the Broncos," the lawsuit states.

Flores said in both instances he felt like this was just to comply with the Rooney Rule that requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.

WATCH: Brian Flores Interview On CBS Mornings

 

In an interview Wednesday with CBS Mornings, Flores was asked if he felt the lawsuit would hurt his career. He said it was the right thing to do, adding he's speaking up for decades of this type of behavior going on.

"There are people who have come before me and I know there are others who have similar stories and it's hard to speak out. It is, you know, you're making some sacrifices, but this is again, this is bigger than football. This is bigger than coaching."

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