The New York Giants have responded to Brian Flores' lawsuit in which he is suing the league and other teams for racial discrimination. The lawsuit, citing text messages between Flores and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, claims that the Giants had already made their decision to hire Brian Daboll as head coach prior to their meeting with Flores, who was fired after three years as the Dolphins coach.
The Giants deny that a final decision had been made prior to their interview with Flores, who had two separate interviews with the organization. New York also addressed Belichick's text messages to Flores with regard to the Giants' then-vacant head coaching position.
"There is additional concrete and objective evidence to substantiate we did not make our decision until the evening of [January] 28th," the statement read. "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."
The Giants are the latest team to respond to Flores' lawsuit. Earlier in the day, Broncos president of football operations John Elway defended the appropriateness and nature of the team's 2019 interview with Flores, who in the lawsuit claimed that Elway and other team executes were late and "disheveled" during the meeting.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has denied allegations from Flores that included Flores stating that Ross offered him $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season.
Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement on the current state of the Rooney Rule, which was created in 2003 and named after his father, late Steelers owner and president Dan Rooney. Rooney stated that several enhancements and policies have been added to the Rooney Rule in recent years have helped improved minority hiring within the NFL. Rooney also acknowledged that the league has not seen progress as it relates to head coaching positions, as Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is currently the NFL's only Black coach.
"The Commissioner and League Executives, as well as the Diversity Committee, remain committed to working with all clubs, the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and others in making these efforts as effective as possible and building upon them to promote the desired impacts on hiring decisions in the League at all levels, including Head Coach positions," Rooney said.