He can’t still be bitter about Super Bowl XLII, can he? Maybe it’s Super Bowl XLVI, too.

It’s certainly plausible—what other explanation can there be for the text message snafu caused by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick which now sits front and center in the Brian Flores litigation?

Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the New York Giants and the NFL on Tuesday, alleging, among other things, that his interview was a ruse to appease the Rooney Rule, as the Giants already had offered the job to Brian Daboll.

The league’s Rooney Rule aims to promote and enhance opportunities for minority candidates; it dictates teams are required to interview at least one external minority candidate for head coaching openings.

“God had gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my person goals,” Flores said. “In making the decision to file the (complaint), 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 system racism in the NFL, others will join me to ensure that positive change is made for generations to come.”

Evidence included in the lawsuit is a series of text messages allegedly from Belichick to Flores congratulating him on landing the Giants’ job. There was a problem though: Flores’ interview with New York wasn’t for another three days after the text was sent.

Belichick, clearly, texted the wrong Brian. Perhaps an honest mistake, as both have served on the Patriots staff.

The Giants have denied any nefarious actions. They said that they interviewed three minority candidates for their coaching vacancy: Flores on Thursday and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, both in person, in addition to their defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

“We are pleased and confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll,” the Giants said. “We interviewed an impressive and diverse group of candidates. The fact of the matter is, Brian Flores was in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour. Ultimately, we hired the individual we felt was most qualified to be our next head coach.”

The NFL also released a statement:

“The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations. Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit.”

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