The Texans announced they had hired Smith, their defensive coordinator in 2021, earlier tonight. Shortly after they did so, Flores' lawyers Doug Wigdor and John Elefterakis released a statement regarding the decision.
In the statement, Wigdor and Elefterakis said Flores was "happy" to see Smith, a Black man, be hired as a head coach, but added that the "only reason" Flores was not hired by the Texans is because he is currently suing the NFL alleging racist hiring practices.
“Mr. Flores is happy to hear that the Texans have hired a Black head coach, Lovie Smith, as Mr. Flores’ goal in bringing his case is to provide real opportunities for Black and minority candidates to be considered for coaching and executive positions within the NFL,” the statement said. “However, we would be remiss not to mention that Mr. Flores was one of three finalists for the Texans’ head coach position and, after a great interview and mutual interest, it is obvious that the only reason Mr. Flores was not selected was his decision to stand up against racial inequality across the NFL.”
Flores filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL last week, sending shockwaves through the sport. In the complaint, he alleges that the New York Giants hosted him on a "sham" interview to fulfill the Rooney Rule after they already decided on hiring Brian Daboll.
Flores also accused the Denver Broncos of having him participate in a similar "sham" interview three years ago when they were already intent on hiring Vic Fangio. Additionally, he claims Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him financial compensation to lose games during the 2019 season.
In a statement shared shortly after his lawsuit was filed, Flores said he recognizes he could be risking future employment by speaking out.
“God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals,” Flores said. “In making my decision to file the class action complaint today, I understand that I may be risking coaching the game that I love and that has done so much for my family and me. My sincere hope is that by standing up against systemic racism in the NFL, others will join me to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come.”