THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2022
Can anyone here play this game?: Like everyone else, we were surprised when Brian Flores got fired.
He had spent three years as the Miami Dolphins' head coach. Except for a horrible 1-7 start this year, his record there had seemed to be surprisingly good, especially given the mess the Dolphins seemed to be in when he arrived on the job.
That said, can anyone here play this game? In part, we're asking about some of the oddnesses associated with the lawsuit Flores filed in the immediate aftermath of his recent firing after three years as head coach.
Mainly, though, we're talking about the way the lawsuit has been discussed within the mainstream and liberal press. Consider Will Leitch's description of the suit in this report from New York's Intelligencer site.
According to Leitch, Flores has "sued the league and three of its teams for racism in its hiring practices." That's a standard account of the suit. Also, everyone knows who those three teams are:
The Broncos, the Dolphins, the Giants.
That said, has Flores really sued the Dolphins for racism in its hiring practices? We ask that question because of the last three major hiring decisions made by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, including his hiring of Flores:
His last three major hires:
In January 2016, he hired Chris Grier as Dolphins' general manager. Grier continues to hold that post. He's one of only five black GMs in the NFL.
In February 2019, he hired Flores as head coach. Flores was one of only three black head coaches in the NFL that year.
Last week, he hired Mike McIntire to be the Dolphins' next head coach. McIntire identifies as multiracial. He's one only four non-white head coaches in the NFL.
Given that track record, is Flores really suing the Dolphins for racism in its hiring practices? He's lodged other serious charges against Ross, but is he suing the Dolphins for racist hiring practices?
That's what Leitch said in his report, but is that statement accurate? Does that statement seem to make sense?
We started this post with a familiar old question from the world of sports: Can anyone here play this game? In the main, we're asking this question about the members of our liberal and mainstream press.
Other parts of the Flores suit strike us as rather odd. As best we can tell, Flores did a good job as coach of the Dolphins. But some of the claims which he has lodged don't seem to make perfect sense.
(His claims against Ross may be perfectly accurate. We have no way of knowing.)
We're asking one limited question today—does Leitch's statement make sense?
As Groucho Marx might have said, "It's a familiar statement, one you hear every day." But does the standard, familiar statement actually seem to make sense?
Eventually, we'll move ahead to other aspects of the Flores lawsuit. Relevant hiring data in the NFL have been widely discussed for decades. But can anyone in our liberal and mainstream press establishments actually play these games?
We'd say the answer has been clear for decades. As a general matter, and anthropologically, we'd say the answer is no.