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Brian Flores’ lawsuit says Eric Bieniemy has the ‘pedigree, track record and reputation’ to be head coach right now

The former Dolphins head coach is alleging racist hiring practices in a 58-page complaint.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy watches during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
AP

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores lit the NFL world ablaze on Tuesday.

His 58-page class action complaint took dead aim at league hiring practices, alleging a tanking request in Miami, a hungover interview in Denver, and a general disregard for the “Rooney Rule” during his interview process with the New York Giants.

“The NFL remains rife with racism,” the document begins, “particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of Black Head Coaches, Coordinators and General Managers.”

On page 45 of the document, Flores presents the curious case of Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as a key example of the leagues’ inconsistent hiring practices.

“Without question, Mr. Bieniemy has the pedigree, track record and reputation to make him a sought-after Head Coach,” the suit states. ”However, despite being interviewed for approximately 20 vacant positions over the last five years, no team has extended Mr. Bieniemy an offer. During this time, numerous white candidates who are clearly less qualified have taken over the Head Coach duties for numerous NFL teams.”

Bieniemy has been Kansas City’s offensive coordinator since 2018, and the Chiefs have never averaged less than 28.2 points per game in that span.

“It disappoints me that someone hasn’t hired him yet,” head coach Andy Reid told reporters in January, “because he is so good.” Reid added that he believed the former Colorado Buff had a “good shot” in 2022.

But after reportedly interviewing for seven openings in the 2021 offseason, Bieniemy interviewed only with the Denver Broncos this cycle — and he was passed over in favor of former Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

Following the firings of Houston’s David Culley and Flores himself, currently only one of the league’s 32 teams is led by a Black coach. Even more startling, the suit alleges that the “pipeline feeding the racial disparities is fraught with discrimination.”

“Diversity is core to everything we do,” the NFL wrote in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon. “The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices … We will defend [Flores’] claims, which are without merit.”

While Flores’ case has already merited a response from the league, some wonder what the future holds for Bieniemy, who will likely be stuck on the outside looking in once again.

“I did not ask to be the poster boy of this particular situation that I have experienced,” Bieniemy said to reporters in the lead up to Super Bowl LV, his second straight as the team’s OC. “At the end of the day, the only thing that you want to do is be recognized with all the things that you’ve accomplished, and for whatever reason, that has not happened.”

Read the full Flores’ lawsuit here.