In a startling development within a racial bias lawsuit, former Miami Dolphin’s head coach Brian Flores says that own Stephen Ross offered a bonus for every game the team lost in 2019. Ross, through the Related Companies, invests significantly in Roosevelt Island.
by David Stone
Update, August 3rd, 2022: “The N.F.L. has suspended the Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross and taken away two draft picks after an investigator found the team violated the league’s anti-tampering policy by trying to lure quarterback Tom Brady and the coach Sean Payton to Miami.” New York Times: Dolphins Lose 2 Draft Picks; Owner Suspended for Tampering with Brady.
End of Update
The storm first brewed this week when Flores, who had a winning record with the Dolphins, filed suit, charging the Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos with racial bias in hiring. The teams, Flores, hosted phony interviews that met NFL rules about considering minority coaches. But a large red flag charge was tucked inside.
Scheming for the first choice in the next college draft, according to Flores, Ross offered him a $100,000 bonus for every loss in 2019. Draft priority goes according to teams with the worst records. And Ross had his eyes on a top rated quarterback.
Long story short, Flores says he refused the deal and that led to his eventual firing after the 2021 season. Bolstering his claim is the fact that he coached back to back winning seasons, a feat no other Dolphin coach accomplished in over decade.
Ross says he fired Flores because he did not work well with others within the organization.
With both Stephen Ross and the NFL vehemently deny the charges, it shaped up as a he said/he said battle until yesterday. That’s when the NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe said he spoke to a witness who claims to have heard Ross make that offer. That’s significant because Ross, as an NFL owner, is a part owner of the network. The league promised a full investigation.
But before that smoke cleared, Hue Jackson, former head coach for Cleveland, claimed that Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam also offered to pay him to tank games. It appears that it worked, if the charge is true. Jackson won just a single game for the team.
If the allegations prove true, Ross could lose his Dolphins ownership and even face criminal charges. Of greater concerns for most fans would the implications that cheating may be widespread in the NFL
Stephen Ross and Roosevelt Island
As a development partner with the Hudson Companies in building and managing Southtown along with The House on the Cornell Tech campus, Ross’s contributions have been major on Roosevelt Island. And that’s not just in the ownership aspect, but the partnership set a standard for excellence in design, construction and management.
And in the larger city, Ross’s Related operation is a major builder, responsible for the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle and the game-changing Hudson Yards development.
With so much accomplished, it’s a jarring realization that what appears little more than a hobby, owning a football team, could tarnish his record so severely.
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