The Giants vehemently defended themselves Thursday against Brian Flores’ allegations of racial discrimination.
“Brian Flores has raised serious issues in the filing of his complaint,” the team said in a statement. “The specific claims against the Giants and Mr. Flores’ allegations about the legitimacy of his candidacy for our head coach position are disturbing and simply false.”
Flores alleged the Giants put him through a “sham” interview days after they had already agreed to hire Brian Daboll, conducting the interview only to fulfill the NFL’s Rooney Rule. As evidence, Flores provided text messages between himself and Bill Belichick in which the Patriots’ coach mistakenly congratulated Flores on being “their guy.” Belichick thought he was texting Daboll, according to the texts. The texts were sent prior to Flores’ in-person interview with the Giants.
After the lawsuit was filed, Flores told “CBS Mornings” that he felt “humiliated” by his interview with the Giants.
“After we interviewed six exceptional and diverse candidates, the decision on who we would hire as head coach was made on the evening of January 28, one day after Mr. Flores spent an entire day in our offices going through his second interview for the position, meeting with ownership and other staff members, and receiving a tour of our facility,” the Giants’ statement continued. “There is additional concrete and objective evidence to substantiate we did not make our decision until the evening of the 28th.
“The allegation that the Giants’ decision had been made prior to Friday evening, January 28, is false. And to base that allegation on a text exchange with Bill Belichick in which he ultimately states that he ‘thinks’ Brian Daboll would get the job is irresponsible. The text exchange occurred the day before Coach Daboll’s in-person interview even took place. Giants’ ownership would never hire a head coach based only on a 20-minute zoom interview, which is all that Mr. Daboll had at that point.
“In addition, Mr. Belichick does not speak for and has no affiliation with the Giants. Mr. Belichick’s text exchange provides no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search.”
Prior to the Giants’ in-person interview with Flores, owner John Mara called Flores — two days after he was fired by the Dolphins, and before the Giants hired GM Joe Schoen — to inform him of the Giants’ interest. After Schoen was hired, Mara and Flores spoke in a Zoom call. In addition, the night before his in-person interview, Flores went to dinner with Schoen.
“Our hiring process and, most certainly, our consideration of Mr. Flores was serious and genuine,” the statement read. “We are disappointed to learn that Mr. Flores was under the mistaken impression the job had already been awarded …
“We hired Brian Daboll as our head coach at the conclusion of an open and thorough interview process. No decision was made, and no job offer was extended, until the evening of January 28, a full day after Mr. Flores’ in-person interview and day-long visit to the Giants.”
In addition to Flores, the Giants interviewed Patrick Graham, Lou Anarumo, Dan Quinn, Leslie Frazier and Daboll. The Rooney Rule requires teams to interview two external minority candidates for the head coach opening, at least one of those interviews has to be in-person.
Since they had already conducted their zoom interview with Flores, the Giants’ in-person interview with Frazier — which occurred after Flores’ in-person interview — would have also satisfied the Rooney Rule regardless of whether Flores sat for an in-person interview.
In addition to his complaints against the Giants, Flores alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to pay him $100,000 to intentionally lose games to help the team’s draft position and attempted to persuade him to break the NFL’s tampering rules to court Tom Brady.
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