KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNW) — A bombshell lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores sent shock waves through the National Football League community, claiming racism against Flores in the hiring processes of at least three different NFL teams.
While Flores is the main focus of the lawsuit, other Black coaches in the NFL who have allegedly been denied head coaching opportunities because of their race are mentioned.
One name that is mentioned in the lawsuit paperwork is Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Bienemy, who has been in his position with the Chiefs since 2018, has been mentioned in the coaching carousel almost every year since he arrived in Kansas City, but has not been given an opportunity to take the reins of an NFL program.
“Eric Bieniemy has been a highly successful NFL coach for almost 12 years and has yet to be offered a Head Coach position despite more than 70 vacancies during that time,” the lawsuit states.
Since he became the offensive coordinator in 2018, Bienemy has been the conductor of one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. In his first year, his offense led the league in yards per game, scoring the third-most points in one season in NFL history.
Under Bienemy’s leadership, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes became only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season.
“Without question, Mr. Bieniemy has the pedigree, track record, and reputation to make him a sought-after Head Coach,” the lawsuit states. “However, despite being interviewed for approximately vacant positions over the last five years, no team has extended Mr. Bienemy an offer.”
Other allegations in the lawsuit claim that the New York Giants had interviewed Flores just to appease the “Rooney Rule,” which states that NFL teams must interview at least one minority coach before they make their decision.
His evidence for this claim is a series of texts with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who Flores claims texted him that Brian Daboll, former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator, had already been hired, “three days before (Flores) interview with the New York Giants.”
“Sorry — I (messed) this up. I double-checked and misread the text. I think they are naming Brian Daboll. I’m sorry about that. BB.”
According to the lawsuit, this series of text messages between Flores and Belichick happened on Jan. 24. Daboll was hired just three days later.
Flores’ 58-page suit also includes the allegation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross incentivized losing games to Flores.
Flores states in the lawsuit that Ross offered him $100,000 per loss in the 2021 season.
The NFL released a statement on Tuesday saying that the accusations were “without merit.”