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.