Brian Flores joins Texans as defendant to lawsuit

NFL: DEC 05 Giants at Dolphins
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In February, it was reported that former Dolphins coach Brian Flores would join the Texans to his landmark lawsuit against the NFL, based on the argument that the Texans didn’t hire Flores as the successor to David Culley because of the lawsuit. Today, Flores officially made that move.

Flores alleges at paragraph 17 of the amended complaint, “[T]he Texans retaliated against Mr. Flores by removing him for consideration for its Head Coach vacancy due to his decision to file this action and speak publicly about systemic discrimination in the NFL.”

The amended complaint also lays out the unusual facts that resulted in the hiring of Lovie Smith. At paragraph 211, Flores points out that it was widely reported that Flores, Jonathan Gannon, and Josh McCown had become the three finalists for the job. Then, Gannon was removed from consideration, narrowing the choices to Flores and McCown.

“[T]he Texans were rightfully concerned that if it hired Mr. McCown over Mr. Flores, it would bolster Mr. Flores’ allegations of systemic discrimination against Black candidates, particularly given that the team had just fired Black Head Coach David Culley after only one season,” the amended complaint alleges at paragraph 214.

At the same time, Smith publicly emerged for the first time as a candidate. Flores alleges that the Texans ultimately hired Smith and not Flores in retaliation for Flores filing his lawsuit. Flores suggests that the Texans potentially didn’t act alone.

From paragraph 218 of the amended complaint: “[E]ither the Texans made this retaliatory decision on its own or the NFL — through the Commissioner’s office and/or other member teams and/or surrogates from the NFL or its member teams — pressured the Texans not to hire Mr. Flores to be its Head Coach after he filed this lawsuit, or some combination thereof.”

The discovery process will go a long way toward proving this claim, or not. Apart from the grilling of key witnesses, Flores will try to find emails, text messages, or other documents generated by the Texans’ coaching search. When did Smith emerge as a candidate? How did he emerge? What, if anything, was said about the Flores lawsuit? What communications, if any, happened with the NFL or other teams about the lawsuit?

Although the NFL probably will try to move this claim to arbitration because it always tries to move claims like this to arbitration, Flores never worked for the Texans. He had no contract with the Texans. The league and the Texans would need some other path to invoke arbitration, like it’s doing in the Jon Gruden case.

Regardless, the Texans have now officially been added to the case, along with the Dolphins, Giants, Broncos, Cardinals, and Titans. And the Texans eventually will have to explain why and how Smith emerged as a candidate so late in the search, and whether (as many suspect) McCown would have gotten the job, but for the Flores lawsuit.

32 responses to “Brian Flores joins Texans as defendant to lawsuit

  1. This guy is out for blood. Idk if he’s correct in his allegations or not but unless they can find emails or texts or something like that, how the hell does anyone prove this?

  2. Please tell me the Texans didn’t hire a coach they didn’t want to appear politically correct. Just hire who you want and be confident you can defend your position that he’s the most qualified candidate.

  3. I wish I could sue a company and then sue them again for not hiring me as I sue them.

  4. This is a joke. Who in their right mind would hire someone who is suing them? The only mistake the Texans made here was interviewing Flores in the first place.

  5. What does he expect to happen? When you start filing lawsuits against your former employers, why would anyone want to hire him. Maybe he should sue all of the teams with open positions this year that didn’t hire him? Unbelievable.

  6. So The Texans should have essentially been forced to hire him because of the lawsuit? Anyone have consequences Brian, welcome to yours.

  7. This has already been addressed in the media. Lovie Smith was already on staff and was actively involved in the hiring committee. To assume who the front runners are at any point is pure conjecture in a fluid uncontrolled process such as interviewing and hiring for an elite position of which there are only 32. When the Texans, for whatever reason, did not like the candidate pool they looked internally. To allege systematic racism is sour grapes. The Texans have had and continue to have numerous minority hires.

  8. I can somewhat understand suing someone who fires you for bad reasons but suing someone else for not hiring you in the first place is quite a stretch. No one owes you a job.

  9. Just a friendly reminder that Flores had (16) assistants on his staff in 2021, and only (3) were black. So, the coach that has a lawsuit against the league, for not hiring enough black coaches, didn’t hire many black coaches.

  10. Texans should counter-sue him for punitive damages and court costs, for wasting their time. And I don’t even like the Texans.

  11. Maybe the Giants interview was a sham. Lord knows he wasn’t being interviewed because of his success as a head coach.

  12. Is he currently working in the NFL as a coach? Yes? Then how is the league acting in unison with teams to prevent him from gainful employment based on his claim of racial discrimination? It doesn’t add up

  13. His lawsuit shows exactly how the Texans discriminated based on race … against Josh McCown.

  14. This is truly embarrasing at this point/ The Texans hired a black coach too correct? So they’re racist for not hiring you? do I have that right?

  15. Pretty sure Rick Smith was the GM in Houston for 11 years or so. Not sure what his issue is..

  16. Barring a smoking gun being found in discovery – the Texans have an easy way to explain this.
    They say – “We decided to choose McCowen over Flores. But after the lawsuit was filed we felt that would be a bad PR move. But we didnt want to reward Flores for making a false claim against us – so we expanded out search and found a different coach who we believed would be well qualified and would be not be a PR problem.

  17. The lawsuit does not say that he’s suing “because he wasn’t hired”, it says he’s suing because they removed him from consideration because of his lawsuit against the Dolphins. There’s a big difference, whether anyone agrees with it or not.

    And all the “they should be able to hire the best person” arguments are missing the point entirely.

  18. Did they hire Lovie because of Flores? Sure. But it wasn’t retaliation. It was preservation. The Texans don’t mind hiring black coaches. They don’t want black coaches who can’t get his teams to the playoffs, who lay huge eggs in the biggest games of the year(Buffalo in 2020 and Tennessee in 2021) and who let’s his offenses degrade to high school JV levels. The Texans made the smart minority hire. Flores can pound sand.

  19. Flores has no claim if the allegation is that the Texans hired Smith instead of McCown due to the Flores lawsuit. Flores suffers no injury in that case.

    All the Texans have to do is to have a valid reason for not hiring Flores that isn’t related to his lawsuit. For example, they did their due diligence and found that Flores has a history of poor relationships with this assistant coaches. Therefore, they decided not to hire him.

  20. The only hope for the NFL is ARBITRATION or SETTLEMENT. Discovery secrets will kill the league’s billionaires.

    They must settle fast as the class action suit gains steam.

  21. It doesn’t matter whether Flores wins his case in a US court. What matters is the course of public opinion. So win, lose or draw the publicity that comes out during this lawsuit will be cause enough to affect meaningful change in how the NFL hires diverse candidates. THAT is what this lawsuit is all about…meaningful change.

  22. McCown has no coaching experience. Hiring him and not Flores was in their plans before the lawsuit. The Texans would not have been able to explain the hire so they went with Lovie. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that.

  23. This guy just does not get it, he is not HC material, good DC but that’s it. Not all coordinators make good HCs.

  24. “Son, you can call it retaliation all you want, but there is no way we was bringing you into our house with the QB situation we were already dealing with. Go ahead, sue to your hearts content, but stay the hell away from us.”

    I get it.

    BTW, Flores has gone from promising head coach to ‘never gonna get hired again’ in a hurry. If I’m an owner, I keep a losing coach just to keep Flores away.

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