John Elway insists the Brian Flores interview was not a sham


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — John Elway is refuting Brian Flores’ claim in a lawsuit that his interview with the Denver Broncos in 2019 was a sham and was only conducted to satisfy the NFL’s Rooney rule.

“While I did not plan to publicly respond to the false and defamatory allegations made by Brian Flores, I could no longer be silent with my character, integrity and professionalism under attack,” the Denver Broncos president of football operations said in a statement. a statement released by the team on Thursday.

Flores, recently fired as head coach at Miami, named the Dolphins, Giants and Broncos in a lawsuit this week alleging unfair hiring practices in the NFL.

Flores said in the lawsuit that then-team general manager Elway and chairman/CEO Joe Ellis showed up an hour late for his interview at a hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, and they “had the looked completely disheveled and it was obvious they had been drinking a lot the night before.

Elway replied that he was seriously considering Flores, one of five candidates for the job that eventually went to then-Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. And he denied Flores’ claim that he was hungover and was just going through the motions to satisfy the league’s requirement that teams interview minority candidates for head coaching positions.

“For Brian to make an assumption about my appearance and my state of mind early that morning was subjective, hurtful and just plain wrong,” Elway said in his statement.

Elway said if he looked disheveled, “it’s because we had just arrived in the middle of the night ‘from an interview in Denver with another candidate, Mike Munchak,’ and were going to get a few hours’ sleep to meet the only window provided to us.

At the time, Flores was the linebacker coach and defensive play caller for the New England Patriots. He was hired by the Dolphins shortly after his interview with the Broncos.

“I interviewed Brian in good faith, giving him the same consideration and opportunity as all other candidates for our position as head coach in 2019,” Elway said.

Elway said he enjoyed his 3.5-hour interview with Flores and was “prepared, ready and fully engaged…as Brian shared his experience and his vision for our team.”

“It’s unfortunate and shocking to learn for the first time this week that Brian felt differently about our interview with him,” Elway added.

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