Dolphins owner Stephen Ross denies Brian Flores's allegations
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross fired back at allegations made in a lawsuit brought against him, by recently dismissed head coach Brian Flores.
With reactions still continuing to come from varying corners, the Dolphins have now had their say on a lawsuit brought forward by former head coach Brian Flores, which implicates the franchise.
Did Stephen Ross try to pay Brian Flores to lose?
It was late on Wednesday night when Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross responded to allegations made by Brian Flores in a lawsuit earlier in the week, calling them "false, malicious and defamatory." Ross also promised to defend his "personal integrity" as well as that of the franchise itself. In what has become a now heavily debated move, Flores filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, in Manhattan federal court against the NFL and three teams - the Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos. The recently fired coach has alleged racial discrimination in hiring practices.
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Where Ross specifically is concerned, the lawsuit alleges that the Dolphins' owner offered Flores $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season - his first as head coach - in an attempt to "tank" to strengthen the value of the Dolphins' draft pick. Miami fired Flores last month after three seasons with the team - including consecutive winning campaigns in 2020 and 2021. Ross said the decision was made because of issues with the "collaboration" within the organization, however, Flores contests that version of events, saying that his dismissal is rooted in his refusal of the 2019 offer.
Stephen Ross and the NFL have their say
In his response on Wednesday to Flores' lawsuit and it's allegations, the Dolphins' owner was clear in his displeasure. "With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding," he said. "I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory. We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization, from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims."
The NFL also weighed in with a statement of their own in which they referred to Flores' allegations as being "without merit." It is understood, however, that the league's response only pertained to Flores' claim that he was subjected to discrimination in during the hiring process. With that said, the league intends to investigate the second allegation involving Ross offering to pay Flores to lose games.
Brian Flores answers to Stephen Ross
Flores for his part was also equally clear in his stance when speaking of Ross's comments in an interview on Wednesday. "That was a conversation about not doing as much as we needed to do in order to win football games," he said. "Take a flight, go on vacation, I'll give you $100,000 per loss - those were his exact words. I deal in truth, I tell the players this, as well. I'm gonna give you good news, bad news - but it's going to be honest. To disrespect the game like that, trust was lost, and there were certainly some strained relationships, and ultimately, I think that was my demise in Miami."