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Brian Flores Alleges Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Offered Him Bonus to Lose Games

Ryan Phillips
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages
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Brian Flores has filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL for its racial hiring practices. The former Miami Dolphins head coach has been joined by a group of other Black coaches in the suit. In it, Flores makes some incredibly eye-opening claims. One that stands out is an allegation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him bonuses to lose games and improve the team's draft position and was angry when the team kept winning.

The suit claims Ross offered Flores $100,000 for each game the team lost in 2019. The relevant section of the lawsuit is below:

In 2019, on the heels of his outstanding performance with the Patriots, Mr. Flores was offered the Miami Dolphins Head Coach position. By all accounts, Mr. Flores did a fantastic job in three seasons from 2019-2021. In his first year, Miami’s gutted roster won five games despite many experts predicting an 0-16 season and one of the worst teams in NFL history.

The Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, was unhappy with this performance not because it was under-performing. To the contrary, Mr. Ross wanted the Mr. Flores to “tank” the season to put the team in position to secure the first pick in the draft. Indeed, during the 2019 season, Mr. Ross told Mr. Flores that he would pay him $100,000 for each game lost that year. Then, when the Dolphins started winning games, due in no small part to Mr. Flores’ coaching, Mr. Flores was told by the team’s General Manager, Chris Grier, that “Steve” was “mad” that Mr. Flores’ success in winning games that year was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

We all know tanking goes on, but the fact that Ross was willing to pay his coach $100,000 for each loss, then was upset when the team won, is absolutely insane. I have a feeling Mr. Ross will be getting a call from the NFL, then the league office will issue some kind of weak statement against tanking, then absolutely nothing will happen to address it.

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