Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL claiming racial discrimination during his hiring process. If only there was a man who tried to warn us about the racist and discriminatory ways of the National Football League…Oh hey, Colin Kaepernick!
Flores is the latest victim of an NFL culture that sees Black men, players, or coaches, as a product before it does a person. His suit is just the latest proof that Colin Kaepernick was right about the league from the jump.
According to Flores’ suit, the former head coach had multiple incidents of racial discrimination that involved multiple teams, as well as coaches and executives around the league.
In the suit, he cites text messages from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who believed he was speaking with Brian Daboll, another coach interviewing for the Giants head coaching position. In the text, Belichick confirmed Daboll had already secured the job, but Flores had not yet interviewed for the position. This revelation meant Flores’ interview with the Giants was a sham because they had already hired their next head coach.
This wasn’t the only time Flores was subject to ‘sham interviews’ by NFL GMs. According to the suit, in 2019 Flores was scheduled to interview with the Denver Broncos. During his interview, then-General Manager, John Elway, President, Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis, and others, showed up an hour late. They also looked like they had spent the night prior drinking heavily. Flores believed the interview only happened so the Broncos could comply with the Rooney Rule and the team never had any intention of hiring Flores.
Kapernick warned us about the NFL’s racist ways. The former quarterback hasn’t played an NFL game since he began kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality among people of color. His kneeling protest sparked white outrage amongst NFL fans and the owners listened. After months of not being able to find a job in the NFL, he filed a grievance claiming NFL teams colluded to keep him out of the NFL.
Since then, Kaepernick hasn’t been shy about telling us exactly how he feels about the NFL. During his recent Netflix drama series, “Colin in Black & White,” Kaepernick portrayed the NFL draft as a slave auction with Black athletes in shackles and white owners with whips.
“What they don’t want you to understand is what’s being established is a power dynamic,” said Kaepernick on his Netflix special.
“Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod, and examine you searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary respect. No dignity left intact.”
Kaepernick’s comparison of slavery to the NFL was also addressed by Brian Flores in his lawsuit.
“In certain critical ways, the NFL is racially segregated and is managed much like a plantation, Flores said the lawsuit. “Its 32 owners—none of whom are Black—profit substantially from the labor of NFL players, 70% of whom are Black. The owners watch the games from atop NFL stadiums in their luxury boxes, while their majority-Black workforce put their bodies on the line every Sunday, taking vicious hits and suffering debilitating injuries to their bodies and their brains while the NFL and its owners reap billions of dollars.”
It’s been more than five years since Kaepernick played his last game in the NFL. Since then the NFL has pledged time and time again to address its lack of diversity throughout the league, but yet little has changed. Flores is just the latest Black man fed up with the NFL’s good ol’ boy practices, but he won’t be the last.
If only we had listened to Kaepernick…