NEW YORK (AP) — Fired Miami Dolphins Coach Brian Flores has sued the NFL and three of its teams, alleging racist hiring practices by the league.
In addition to the Dolphins, the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos were also listed in the lawsuit.
"NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators, and General Managers," the lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court, states.
Lawyers sought class-action status for the legal filing.
Flores was fired last month by Miami after leading the Dolphins to a 24-25 record over three years.
They went 9-8 in their second-straight winning season but failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.
After his firing, Flores claims he interviewed to be the head coach of the Giants when the organization already knew it was going to hire Brian Daboll.
He claims he also took part in a "sham" interview with the Broncos in 2019.
"Broncos’ then-General Manager, John Elway, President, and Chief Executive Officer Joe Ellis and others, showed up an hour late to the interview," the lawsuit states. "They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had (been) drinking heavily the night before."
Flores claims he was only being interviewed to satisfy a rule that requires teams to interview more diverse candidates.
The Giants and Broncos went on to hire white men.
In a statement to NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo, the Giants said, "The fact of the matter is, Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour. Ultimately, we hired the individual we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach."
The NFL claims Flores' lawsuit is without merit.
"The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations," the league said in a statement. "Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit."