As the Super Bowl, the largest betting event in America, is just around the corner, some shocking news has come out about the NFL and the possibility of game-rigging.
It’s not just Super Bowl Sunday though. Many states have legalized sports betting or are planning to. It will most likely be legal nationwide within a few years. So with so many Americans risking money by betting on games, it matters that those games are played fairly.
But new shocking claims by former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores have taken aim at the credibility of the sport.
Flores filed a racial discrimination suit against the NFL claiming that he was passed over for coaching jobs due to his race. However, within his complaint, he alleges that the Miami Dolphins offered him $100K to intentionally lose games in order to secure a better draft position the following year. When Flores didn’t comply, he claims the team worked to oust him and publicly label him as difficult to work with.
From the complaint:
The Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, was unhappy with this performance not because it was under-performing. To the contrary, Mr. Ross wanted Mr. Flores to “tank” the season to put the team in position to secure the first pick in the draft. Indeed, during the 2019 Mr. Ross told Mr. Flores that he would pay him $100,000 for each game lost that year. Then, when the Dolphins started winning games, due in no small part to Mr. Flores’ coaching, Mr. Flores was told by the team’s General Manager, Chris Grier, that “Steve” was “mad” that Mr. Flores’ success in winning games that year was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”
But soon after the complaint details were public, another head coach jumped on Twitter to offer what seemed like confirmation of the practice.
Former Browns head coach Hugh Jackson stated that the Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam offered him “a good number” to lose games.
The notion of teams intentionally doing poorly to secure better draft positions after the season is already a loss is not a new allegation. However, this sort of overt bounty-system where huge cash payments are made to specifically lose games is fraud.
With so many Americans and even international citizens betting on NFL games, it is nothing short of a scandal that teams are paying coaches to lose. Not only that, how do we know other incentives don’t exist for other players? Are players being paid or given special treatment as well if they throw games.
Rumors of game-rigging by the NFL go back decades. Watch this clip from the 1980’s where the issue was openly discussed by best-selling author Dan Moldea on a late night talk show. Something you will never see these days.
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