Broncos call Brian Flores allegations regarding 2019 “sham” interview “blatantly false”

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The landmark lawsuit filed on Tuesday by former Dolphins coach Brian Flores contains strong allegations against multiple NFL teams. Flores contends the Broncos conducted a “sham interview” of him 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,” Flores alleges at paragraph 21 of his complaint. “They looked completely disheveled, and it was obvious that they had [been] 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 Broncos have issued a statement in response to the allegations.

“The allegations from Brian Flores directed toward the Denver Broncos in today’s court filing are blatantly false,” the Broncos said. “Our interview with Mr. Flores regarding our head coaching position began promptly at the scheduled time of 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2019, in a Providence, R.I., hotel. There were five Broncos executives present for the interview, which lasted approximately three-and-a-half hours—the fully allotted time—and concluded shortly before 11 a.m.

“Pages of detailed notes, analysis and evaluations from our interview demonstrate the depth of our conversation and sincere interest in Mr. Flores as a head coaching candidate.

“Our process was thorough and fair to determine the most qualified candidate for our head coaching position. The Broncos will vigorously defend the integrity and values of our organization—and its employees—from such baseless and disparaging claims.”

The litigation will be replete with factual discrepancies and disputes. One of those skirmishes will entail all facts and circumstances regarding Flores’ interview with the Broncos in 2019. It’s clear that the Broncos dispute his version of the events, and that they will aggressively advance their position.

65 responses to “Broncos call Brian Flores allegations regarding 2019 “sham” interview “blatantly false”

  1. And both men had losing records over 3 years and were defensive gurus that had woefully inept offenses…

  2. I hope the entire NFL counter sues this guy for everything he has. Slander, Libel, Torte and defamation.

  3. Are we surprised that this is the reality of the Rooney Rule?

    I for one, am not.

    What an embarrassment to the NFL

  4. ruh roh raggy…. Sounds like the Broncos may have the interview documented, and if the documents contain timestamps Flores might have been caught red handed in a lie.

  5. The NFL/team lawyers can deny all they want. There’s one Black head coach among 32 teams. What ever happened to the Rooney rule?

    Flores has effectively ended his NFL career like Colin Kaepernick. But both are making points that the NFL hiring process doesn’t reflect diversity or freedom of thought at all.

  6. “Oh no, of course we didn’t interview 1 black coach just to satisfy the requirements of the Rooney rule. Of course not. We would never do that.” – Every NFL team ever.

  7. I don’t know if there is any racism in the hiring process, but there definitely is a problem of nepotism and owners like Ross who are willing to lose now in order to get a better draft pick. And the Rooney rule certainly hasn’t helped either, as teams probably just interview minority candidates because they’re required to.

  8. Starting to understand why the dolphins fired this guy. If you blame everything that doesn’t go your way on your skin color then you never have to take personal responsibility.

    And fyi, the Rooney rule pretty much guarantees black folks will get sent on sham interviews. Your a quota that has to be filled. Get rid of the damn thing.

  9. i am not sure what the outcome that flores wanted by filing his suit.
    even if it has merit, it will only deter other clubs that interviewed him
    from hiring him.

  10. Coaches are hired on talent, then how come no one is questioning or suing for more white players on NFL teams. It is all about talent and winning. Color is not a factor, who is the best.

  11. With this move, Flores through Bill Belichick under the bus (the Hoody mis-sent a text, something we’ve all likely done). Flores accused the Giants of wrong doing. The Giants HAD to interview a minority candidate, which they did. Does this then mean they can’t hire their preferred HC? In the Broncos case, Denver is saying they have detailed notes of the interview, and have said so very quickly after the initial news. Not a good look for Flores. What Stephen Ross allegedly did, asking Flores to tank games and recruit another player on another team, while is absolutely wrong, has nothing to do with racism as evidenced by Ross having hired Flores!
    Flores has a reputation of being a hard-arse coach, seems to get overly upset when things don’t go exactly his way…and now he’s thrown a lot of people under the bus with what seems to be an emotional argument(s), not ones of merit.
    Probably not the qualities you want in a head coach; black, white, green, blue, etc.

  12. In order to be successful with this lawsuit, he needs to have factual proof; not subjective allegations of how the Broncos executives appeared before him. Didn’t these executives fly out from Denver to Rhode Island just to interview him?
    This whole lawsuit could have a chilling effect on hiring minority coaches if this is the attitude they are expecting once they are fired.

  13. The Rooney rule is Racist in every way. Let’s look at the numbers for black and white players. What are they ??? We’re not crying about that.

  14. All you have to do is to read his allegation of “systemic racism” to know that he is being propped up by a third party – no self respecting MAN who was denied a job because of real racism would use the code language “systemic racism”. This is one dirty story that is being used as a wedge issue by those wanting to make the failure of a certain minority candidate to be more than professional incompetence (a 24-25 record is not a winner); up until this act by this clown I was in support of him getting a job because I felt the Dolphins bailed on him unfairly – not because of race. So tired of race being exploited for profit.

  15. They have multiple witnesses who took detailed notes, and all Flores has is motive to lie…. Open and shut case he’s all done…Goodbye Nice knowing you

  16. Brian and his attorneys must have forgotten that there are only 32 head coaching jobs in the NFL. If he truly believes those allegations in the first place, why did it take him over 2 years to file a complaint? He’s a prime example of what’s wrong with affirmative action.

  17. If you’re going to pick a legal fight with 31 multi-billionaires – you had better be sure your accusations are 100% accurate.

    Somehow I sincerely doubt they are.

    It sounds like he’s getting some horrible legal advice and when it’s all over and he’s counter-sued to the stone age- I expect a press conference where he claims as such.

  18. Looks like Josh Lambo needs to save a spot on the bench for folks who will never be employed again in the NFL.

  19. Vance Joseph was the Broncos coach immediately before this interview and Flores got hired by the Dolphins shortly afterwards. Those two facts pretty much torpedo Flores’ entire claim.

  20. jam11163 says:
    February 1, 2022 at 6:33 pm
    The Rooney rule is Racist in every way. Let’s look at the numbers for black and white players. What are they ??? We’re not crying about that.

    A blatant false equivalency. No one is preventing white players from being on NFL rosters. There is no history of the league excluding players solely because they are white. There is no systemic discrimination against white players.

  21. All we ever hear is about how greedy the NFL is… these greedy owners will do anything to win. Except hire a qualified minority coach? BS.

  22. This guy is in full Kaepernick mode. I really hope his future NFL career mirrors Kaepernick’s, too.

  23. And finally we have an answer as to why Flores was fired. Clearly not the guy you want leading your organization. Other teams are lucky he removed himself from consideration for any coaching jobs; someone would have certainly hired him this year or next had he not have committed career suicide.

  24. Wasn’t this fresh off Vance Joseph being the HC of the Broncos?? Isn’t he black?? Am I wrong?

  25. Mr. Florio, I think you just got handed the topic for the “updated Introduction” to the paperback version of your book.

  26. “.. began promptly at the scheduled time of 7:30 a.m…….. There were five Broncos executives present for the interview…”

    Was the GM Elway, the hiring manager,there at 7:30?
    Were all five executives there at the beginning of the meeting?

  27. Like I said in an earlier post he might be right but he needs to have strong proof of these allegations. On the one hand I’m happy his suit provides specific examples. On the other hand if you don’t have evidence to back those claims you will look like a liar in court.

  28. I believe the Broncos. Flores got canned by a black GM. Then he calls racism?? Come on Man !!

  29. He wants Belichick control without Belichick results? Now he just sounds childish. If he knew how to win early in the season this conversation would never happen.

  30. The Rooney Rule is set up to fail. When people who can do a job well and interview badly they blame the interviewer rather than see their own shortcomings. Future employers are not going to tell you that you didn’t impress them. Consequently if you were interviewed with a company based on a quota system, which is what the Rooney Rule is, the company just moves on to the next candidate. This lawsuit has no merit and will be exposed for the fraud it is.

  31. LOL so the nfl has went so far to the left with woke culture and now their getting eaten by their own!!!! suprise suprise suprise

  32. This is not a lawsuit. I interviewed for 2 jobs last week and didn’t get either one because they went with somebody else. Should I now file a lawsuit??

  33. Remember when you thought you’d just go for a kill shot, and expect your career be somehow revived by calling billionaire owners racist? And you didn’t think they’d be so quick to fight back or argue your claim. Remember that, a few minutes ago…. Ya, you should’ve thought this through a little more…

  34. It’s never going to be a sham interview when the candidate has four rings as an assistant.

  35. Here’s the difference: Flores made his allegation in a court filing under the pains and penalties of perjury. The defendants made their statements in press releases for which there are no consequences. 1. Let’s see what they say when they file their response. 2. Let’s see what they do when Flores request the emails and text messages in discovery from the 32 owners. Like Kaepernick’s case they’ll settle quickly to avoid that. The problem is I don’t think Flores is interested in money I think he wants to expose the problem. He’s already said he was shooting his career in the foot and that’s what people with integrity do.

  36. The Broncos had just fired Vance Joseph, an African American man the last time I checked and I am pretty sure he was hand picked by Elway, so that along with what seems like a strong denial that can be backed up with documented timelines bye the Broncos, does not make this a good look for Flores.

  37. I see a lot of hate coming at Flores for what he’s doing and I want to be a voice of support. I think what he’s done take a lot of courage. Undoubtedly and unfortunately I’m sure he knows he does this with some sort of expectation that he will be ostracized like Kaepernick was. There are a lot of qualified Black coaches and organization members out there that have worked hard and earned the right to hold positions like head coaching jobs and GM roles and are passed over time and again. It’s embarrassing and insulting to see it. Why hasn’t anyone hired Eric Bienemy, or Todd Bowles, or Leslie Frazier, or Byron Leftwich, or Raheem Morris, or DeMeco Ryans, along with Flores of course? It’s infuriating. The optimist in me hopes that perhaps real change will come from this. I believe that is the whole point of the suit in the first place, not money. The pessimist in me however fears that the NFL will skate through this just like every other time they seem to come under fire and that Flores will essentially be a forgotten man. The only hope I have in that scenario that, unlike Kaepernick, is he can go to a college and probably have a very successful and lucrative career. Maybe there he can also help shape the minds of some young men and help to continue to make things better for everyone.

  38. It’s entirely possible that it was both a sham and that they spent 3 hours talking to him and taking notes. If you’re going to interview someone to meet the Rooney Rule stuff despite having no intention of hiring the person, you’d better have documentation to back up your claim that it was legit.

  39. Why is the Black community the only ones ever mentioned when it comes to being diverse? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other cultures and races that are underrepresented in the NFL. That said, can anyone give me an exact number of Black coaches we need to have for the Rooney Rule to be seen as a success? And when do we start using this same rule to force interviews of people with different sexual preferences and so on? I think you can see where I’m going with this. Please hire those who are best qualified. I don’t care about their race or anything else besides their coaching abilities.

  40. Why hasn’t anyone hired Eric Bienemy, or Todd Bowles, or Leslie Frazier, or Byron Leftwich, or Raheem Morris, or DeMeco Ryans


    Bowles, Frazier and Morris have all been hired as head coaches. Ryans and Leftwich have been coordinators for 1 and 3 years respectively, I believe. Leftwich and Bienemy are propped up by the QBs and Bienemy is even more propped up with Andy Reid running the show on KC’s offense.

  41. “The allegations set forth by Mr Flores are blatantly false. He stated our front office staff had clearly even drinking all night when, in fact, they had only been drinking since 6am”

  42. Foolish me, thinking I could briefly escape all the diviseness, anger and narrow-minded politics that seems to permeate every aspect of life, and just watch sports. Alas …

  43. Race. It’s ALWAYS race. No personal responsibility, no personal accountability. Race. ALWAYS race.

  44. All these people saying what about Eric Bienemy! Have any of you been to one of his interviews? Maybe he is not well spoken! That’s part of the process! As my head coach you better sound professional at a press conference in or a city function or at a Christmas charity benefit! It’s not just about x and O’s. Maybe he doesn’t have that trait against other candidates! Football smarts don’t necessarily carry over to public speaking! In not implying that about him! All I’m saying is an interview is more about you as person than just what goes on out on the field!

  45. Let’s face it, most interviews for black coaches for head coach positions are only lip service to the Rooney rule. Every once in a while the rule works as intended but mostly it doesn’t. If the team owner already has a candidate in mind for the job, the Rooney rule forces him to conduct bogus interviews with black candidates, it’s the nature of the beast. Not saying it’s right, it’s just the reality.

  46. The fact that there is a need for the Rooney rule speaks to the foundation of flores lawsuit and I think gives credibility to his allegations. Giving the wink and nod interview because its required doesn’t address the lack of black headcoachs ,general managers and owners in the NFL. Discovery in this lawsuit will be interesting, if not educational.

  47. Speaking of sham interviews, Duce Staley could probably take the Eagles to court over those too.

  48. gibson45 says:
    February 1, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    jam11163 says:
    February 1, 2022 at 6:33 pm
    The Rooney rule is Racist in every way. Let’s look at the numbers for black and white players. What are they ??? We’re not crying about that.

    A blatant false equivalency. No one is preventing white players from being on NFL rosters. There is no history of the league excluding players solely because they are white. There is no systemic discrimination against white players.


    Plus I the ratio is approximately 70-30 for people of color vs white for players ?? …. I think people of color might be ok if it was 70-30 white vs people of color for the head coaching positions instead of 99-1 … that would show there is progress at the very least … just my thoughts though of course

  49. Brian Fields says:
    February 1, 2022 at 7:14 pm
    Why hasn’t anyone hired Eric Bienemy, or Todd Bowles, or Leslie Frazier, or Byron Leftwich, or Raheem Morris, or DeMeco Ryans, along with Flores of course? It’s infuriating.
    Which HC do you hire? Candidate one: OC for a high output offense, but doesn’t call offensive plays. Candidate two: good DC, but went 24-40 as a HC and his team would display how undisciplined they were by getting costly flags while the game was on the line. Candidate three: DC for a top tier defense in the league. Had double digit losses in two of his three seasons as a HC. Candidate four: very impressive OC, but also had one of the greatest QBs of all time. Candidate five: Good DC on teams with a lot of talent. Went 21-38 as a HC and was fired after losing 10 straight games. The Jags didn’t even lose 10 in a row this season. Candidate six: only one year experience as a coordinator. Never been a HC. Then there is Flores. It was said that he had created a toxic work environment with his coaches and players toward the end of the season. The previous coach was fired after going 7-9. After three seasons with Flores building the team, they went 9-8. Had the season ended at 16 games, the Dolphins would’ve been 8-8. How much of an improvement is that really?

  50. If you want evidence of a double standard just look at the fact that Josh McCown is being considered a serious candidate despite no coaching experience at any level and having been a mediocre player. Yet people disqualify Bienemy because he doesn’t call the plays. How many plays did Joe Judge call before he got the Giants job?

  51. “NFL Owners only care about winning! The NFL is totally fair!”…………Was Jerry Jones only concerned about winning when he kept Jason Garrett around for a decade? Is Dan Snyder only concerned about winning? Is the Ford family only concerned about winning? the NFL is about MAKING MONEY, not winning. It’s a business.

  52. If the NFL truly believes there was no racism in hiring coaches and GMs then there would be no Rooney Rule ( even though the Rooney Rule is not the solution ).

  53. Wow. Talk about Flores dousing his career with kerosene then adding some high octane fuel to the mix before detonating a thermite grenade. Rarely have we seen someone immolate their whole career this thoroughly in such a short space of time. He will still come out of it with a big settlement though, but as far as coaching goes (at least in the pros) he is persona-non-grata. Good for the Bears to take a hard pass on him….

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