Steelers coach Brian Flores a Person to Root For

Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores was picked to root for a man by NFL.com’s Jim Trotter on his list of 32 players, coaches or staff members rooting for the 2022 NFL season. Trotter selected Flores because of his ongoing lawsuit addressing allegations of racial bias in hiring practices among NFL head coaches.

“How can you not Respect a man who, in an attempt to eliminate alleged racial bias among NFL teams when hiring head coaches, put his career and livelihood on the line by suing the league? ” partlycloudy Trotter.

The Flores were fired by the Miami Dolphins last season after going 24-25 with them from 2019-21 on a strong defense of the back. His peak season came in 2020 when he coached the Dolphins to a 10-6 record and the league’s fourth-best scoring defense. Last season, the Dolphins started 1-7 but then won seven straight games and finished the season 9-8. It was the first time that the Dolphins had won back-to-back games since 2003.

Flores is suing the Dolphins and accused owner Stephen Ross of incentivizing losing during Flores’ first season at the helm. He also accused Ross of tampering with Flores to recruit a “significant quarterback” at the end of the 2019 season before the quarterback is still under contract with another team. Flores alleges that Ross tricked him into meeting a quarterback and when Flores denied that meeting, he was “treated with disdain and held out as someone who was non-compliant and difficult to work with.”

Flores’ suit also addresses the way he was treated by those interviewing him for a head coach position. The New York Giants and Denver Broncos, Flores alleges, have just interviewed him to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for their open positions. Two more coaches have joined the lawsuit that names the NFL, Giants, Broncos, Doplhins, Arizon Cardinals, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans as defenders.

Flores lawsuit has received support from many in the league as it tackles what has been an unspoken issue since the Rooney Rule was put in place, with teams that already have a minority candidate interviewing their next coach in mind. In addition to the support he has received, his lawsuit has also led to the change in the league as the NFL recently passed a rule to force teams to have at least one minority or female coach on their offensive staff. The intention behind that rule is that it’ll lead to more minority candidates getting experience that they can then use to win a head coaching job.

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