While Steve Wilks and Ray Horton joined Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit, Flores himself amended his original complaint. It adds the Texans to the list of teams against which specific allegations are made (the others being the Dolphins, Broncos, Giants and, now, the Cardinals and Titans).
As detailed by ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg, Flores alleges that Houston “retaliated” against him during its recent head coaching search as a result of his decision to file the lawsuit. His amended complaint notes how the team pivoted toward Lovie Smith – whom they ultimately hired – immediately after the decision appeared to be narrowed down to either Flores or former quarterback Josh McCown. As it reads, “the 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”.
In a statement, the Texans responded to the accusations:
Brian Flores was among the first candidates we held a formal interview with for the position and he remained a candidate until the very end. It was a very fluid process… we are proud of our decision and will vigorously defend [it].
Alterations have also been made to Flores’ allegations against the Dolphins. Included among those is a memorandum he wrote in December 2019 to multiple members of the team’s front office, including general manager Chris Grier, related to the “alarming demands to lose games” made by owner Stephen Ross (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). In it, Flores “detailed the toxicity which existed within the organization and explained the unreasonable position he was being placed in.” PFT’s Mike Florio reports that said memo was provided to the league one week ago.
The amended suit accuses the Dolphins of “asserting baseless claims” (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). One of those is the demand for Flores to repay wages paid by the team because they were given “on the condition that he wouldn’t sue the Dolphins.” Flores denies any such agreement was made during his departure from the team.
Flores initially sued the NFL generally and the Dolphins, Broncos and Giants specifically in February. He has since been hired by the Steelers as the team’s linebackers coach but made it clear at the time that he would not drop the suit. Thursday’s developments confirm that this matter is far from being resolved.
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