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One of the more intriguing matchups on the schedule for the 2022 NFL season will be the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Miami Dolphins in South Florida in Week 7.
It’s not just because both teams will be in the thick of fights for their own divisions, but it will also be Brian Flores’ first return to Hard Rock Stadium since he was fired by the Dolphins, sparking his racial discrimination and tanking lawsuit against the NFL, the Dolphins and two other teams.
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Flores was hired as a senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach on Mike Tomlin’s staff following his dismissal and subsequent lawsuit.
Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos, alleging racial discrimination in his interviews and hiring processes and claiming Miami team owner Stephen Ross tried to pay him to lose games.
In the lawsuit, Flores alleged the Giants told third parties they were hiring Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their next head coach. Flores pointed to a text message exchange with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who appeared to think he was texting Daboll and not Flores about getting the job. Flores had yet to actually interview.
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In the lawsuit, Flores also alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told him he would be paid $100,000 for every loss during his first season in order for the team to tank and get a higher draft pick. Flores also alleged Ross pressured him to recruit a top unnamed quarterback to join the team. When he refused, Flores says he was cast as the “angry Black man” who was difficult to work with.
He said the alleged incidents with the Dolphins led to his ouster.
Flores also alleged he wasn’t given a fair shot at interviewing for the Broncos head coaching position in 2019 before eventually being hired as the Dolphins’ head coach. He said John Elway, who is an executive in the Broncos’ front office, showed up disheveled and hungover for the interview.
All parties have denied the allegations.
It’s unclear whether the lawsuit will be settled by game time, but pitting the two teams against one another will make for an interesting storyline.
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The matchup is set for Oct. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.