DENVER — Brian Flores responded to the Broncos' refute of his claims of a sham interview Wednesday, saying, "I deal in truth."
Tuesday, Flores identified the Broncos as one of three teams in a lawsuit filed against the NFL for racial discrimination. He alleged bias in previous head coaching interviews, including with the Broncos in 2019. Flores claimed CEO Joe Ellis and team president John Elway appeared hungover and showed up an hour late for his interview, making him believe he was not a serious candidate and only be used to satisfy the league's Rooney Rule requirement for minorities.
The Broncos vehemently denied those allegations, claiming the interview started on time at 7:30 a.m. and lasted nearly four hours, labeling Flores assertions, "baseless and disparaging."
Appearing on ESPN's "Get Up" program Wednesday, Flores responded when asked about his specific recollection of the interview.
"So, I've had nine interviews with NFL clubs, and one interview where anyone was late. And it wasn't me that was late, it was the interviewers who were late. And that was with the Broncos. There was a reason why they were late. They had been out the night before," Flores said.
Flores was asked what gave him that impression.
"Well when you sit at a table with five people interviewing you, you can tell who is asking questions and who is into the interview and who's not necessarily in the right state in that moment. Even then, I put my best foot forward. I showed why I was a good candidate for that job. I am always going to do that. But, you know, I certainly did not feel like I was taken seriously, that I was just there because of the Rooney Rule."
The Broncos did not offer a new response to Flores' claims on Wednesday.
Regarding the interview, the Broncos traveled from Denver and arrived at the hotel around 3 a.m. in Providence, R.I., for the 7:30 a.m. meeting with Flores, according to a source. They said they were present for the scheduled interview time, that it lasted the planned duration, concluding at 11 a.m., and included specific, detailed questions that showed their "sincere interest" in Flores.
Ellis, according to a source, was back east visiting family and drove down for the interview, while Elway accompanied the search committee on the flight.
The Broncos vehemently denied Flores' accusations of a sham interview on Tuesday, releasing a statement that read, in part:
"Pages of detailed notes, analysis and evaluations from our interview demonstrate the depth of our conversation and sincere interest in Mr. Flores as a head coaching candidate.
“Our process was thorough and fair to determine the most qualified candidate for our head coaching position. The Broncos will vigorously defend the integrity and values of our organization—and its employees—from such baseless and disparaging claims.”
Flores is aware that the Broncos have denied his claims, providing a detailed refute.
"Uhh, I deal in truth, that's my reaction. I deal in truth. Honesty and integrity is important to me, and hopefully there is a day where we find out the truth on that one," Flores said Wednesday.
Flores attended the ESPN interview with his lawyers on Wednesday. The former Dolphins coach admitted he hoped to coach in the NFL again, but recognized that might not happen. He said his goal is to create institutional change, and other coaches could join his lawsuit. The NFL has one black head coach — Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin — in a league where roughly 70 percent of the players are black.
"I know there's a sacrifice and risk to that, but we need change," Flores said on ESPN. "We need change."