The New York Giants issued a statement Thursday evening saying that allegations made by former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores "about the legitimacy of his candidacy for our head coach position are disturbing and simply false."
The Giants also stated that the decision to hire Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who is white, was made Jan. 28; one day after they held an in-person interview with Flores for the position.
"After we interviewed six exceptional and diverse candidates, the decision on who we would hire as head coach was made on the evening of January 28, one day after Mr. Flores spent an entire day in our offices going through his second interview for the position, meeting with ownership and other staff members, and receiving a tour of our facility," the Giants said.
The Giants included in their statement an itinerary of Flores' interview schedule on Jan. 27, adding "there is additional concrete and objective evidence to substantiate we did not make our decision until the evening of the 28th."
Flores, who is Black, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against the NFL and three of its teams -- the Broncos, Dolphins and Giants -- alleging a pattern of racist hiring practices by the league and racial discrimination.
Flores alleges in the lawsuit that the New York Giants engaged in a "sham interview" process with him in January for their head coach vacancy in an effort to fulfill the Rooney Rule. The suit alleges that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick "mistakenly disclosed" to Flores in a text message exchange on Jan. 24 -- three days before Flores was set to interview with the Giants -- that the organization intended to hire Daboll. The Giants officially announced Daboll's hiring two days after interviewing Flores.
Flores said Wednesday on CBS Mornings that he experienced a range of emotions including "humiliation, disbelief, anger" following Belichick's text messages.
"I've worked so hard to get to where I am in football, to become a head coach, for 18 years in the league," Flores said, "to go on what was gonna be or what felt like or what was a sham interview, I was hurt."
Flores' lawyer, Douglas H. Wigdor, said Wednesday they decided to file a lawsuit prior to the Giants interview.
Flores added Thursday during an appearance on NPR that "it was clear that that decision was made with [Belichick's] influence. That's part of the problem. That needs to change. There needs to be a fair and equal opportunity to interview and showcase your abilities to lead and earn one of those positions."
The Giants said Thursday that Belichick "does not speak for and has no affiliation" with the organization and that his messages to Flores provide "no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search."
The Giants stated "it has been well documented how much research and due diligence we did on Mr. Flores as it related to his candidacy," specifying that Giants co-owner John Mara spoke with Flores and expressed interest in him as a candidate two days after Flores was fired by the Dolphins.
"Our hiring process and, most certainly, our consideration of Mr. Flores was serious and genuine," the Giants said. "We are disappointed to learn that Mr. Flores was under the mistaken impression the job had already been awarded."
Giants' complete statement in response to Flores' allegations and interview itinerary for Jan. 27
Brian Flores has raised serious issues in the filing of his complaint. The specific claims against the Giants and Mr. Flores' allegations about the legitimacy of his candidacy for our head coach position are disturbing and simply false.
After we interviewed six exceptional and diverse candidates, the decision on who we would hire as head coach was made on the evening of January 28, one day after Mr. Flores spent an entire day in our offices going through his second interview for the position, meeting with ownership and other staff members, and receiving a tour of our facility. (See the itinerary below). There is additional concrete and objective evidence to substantiate we did not make our decision until the evening of the 28th.
_The allegation that the Giants' decision had been made prior to Friday evening, January 28, is false. And to base that allegation on a text exchange with Bill Belichick in which he ultimately states that he "thinks" Brian Daboll would get the job is irresponsible. The text exchange occurred the day before Coach Daboll's in-person interview even took place. Giants' ownership would never hire a head coach based only on a 20-minute zoom interview, which is all that Mr. Daboll had at that point. _
In addition, Mr. Belichick does not speak for and has no affiliation with the Giants. Mr. Belichick's text exchange provides no insight into what actually transpired during our head coaching search.
It has been well documented how much research and due diligence we did on Mr. Flores as it related to his candidacy. John Mara called Mr. Flores two days after he was dismissed in Miami. Mr. Mara expressed to Mr. Flores in that January 12 call that once we had our new general manager in place, we would begin the process of hiring our head coach and we wanted to meet with Mr. Flores because we considered him a serious candidate for the position. Mr. Mara and Mr. Flores then had their first formal conversation in a 25-30 minute zoom call on January 18 (at Mr. Flores' request) to further discuss his candidacy.
In between those initial conversations and Mr. Flores' in-person interview on January 27, there were several other communications between Mr. Flores and members of our organization. This included a dinner with our newly hired general manager, Joe Schoen, the night before Mr. Flores's in-person interview. The consensus from within the Giants organization after this dinner remained that Mr. Flores was an outstanding candidate, and we looked forward to sitting down with him in person the next day.
Our hiring process and, most certainly, our consideration of Mr. Flores was serious and genuine. We are disappointed to learn that Mr. Flores was under the mistaken impression the job had already been awarded.
In his CBS interview yesterday, Mr. Flores was asked if "clubs have the right to hire the person they think is the best qualified for the job or the person they feel is right for them?" Mr. Flores responded "They do. That's very reasonable to me . . .". That is exactly what we did.
We hired Brian Daboll as our head coach at the conclusion of an open and thorough interview process. No decision was made, and no job offer was extended, until the evening of January 28, a full day after Mr. Flores' in-person interview and day-long visit to the Giants.
Brian Flores interview Itinerary – Head Football Coach
January 27, 2022
8:45 a.m. -- arrival at Quest (Joe Schoen)
9 a.m. -- meet w/ John Mara, Chris Mara, Steve Tisch, & Joe Schoen
Noon -- Lunch / Facility Tour – Tim McDonnell
1 p.m. -- Pat Hanlon/Jen Escalante/Dion Dargin
1:45 p.m. -- Ronnie Barnes/Jessie Armstead
2:30 p.m. -- Allison Stangeby/Pete Guelli
3:30 p.m. -- Joe Schoen