Texans general manager Nick Caserio said Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit against the NFL did not affect Houston’s hiring process for its new head coach.
Last Tuesday, Flores filed a 58-page class-action lawsuit in Manhattan against the NFL and its 32 teams alleging discrimination in the hiring process.
At the time, he was a candidate for the then open head coach job in Houston.
“Speaking specific to Brian, I’ve known Brian a long time personally and professionally. I have a lot of respect for Brian as a coach and a person. He was a part of this process,” Caserio said Tuesday at a press conference introducing Houston’s new head coach, Lovie Smith.
A fire alarm went off during Caserio’s explanation, which could be seen as symbolic for the state of the Texans organization lately.
“He’s been a good coach in this league for a number of years. Part of my responsibility was to spend time with as many quality candidates as possible and Brian was one of those,” Caserio said, adding that he spoke to Flores after the lawsuit was filed last week.
On Tuesday, Flores and his lawyers, Douglas H. Wigdor and John Elefterakis, reacted to the coaching news in a statement.
“Mr. Flores is happy to hear that the Texans have hired a Black head coach, Lovie Smith, as Mr. Flores’ goal in bringing his case is to provide real opportunities for Black and minority candidates to be considered for coaching and executive positions within the NFL,” Wigdor and Elefterakis said in the statement.
“However, we would be remiss not to mention that Mr. Flores was one of three finalists for the Texans’ head coach position and, after a great interview and mutual interest, it is obvious that the only reason Mr. Flores was not selected was his decision to stand up against racial inequality across the NFL.”
In the lawsuit, Flores claims his interview with the Giants was a sham to fulfill the NFL’s Rooney Rule diversity requirements. He alleges the Giants had made their decision to hire Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to replace fired coach Joe Judge before they even met with Flores.
Flores was also in consideration for the open head coach job with the Saints when he filed the lawsuit. New Orleans chose to promote defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
“Before we filed the class action I sent messages to both teams [Texans and Saints] letting them know … that also I am still very interested in coaching and leading one of those teams,” Flores said on ESPN’s “Get Up” last week.