A new episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel premieres Tuesday night (Feb. 22) at 10 p.m. ET. What will likely attract headlines is Gumbel’s interview with former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and his lawyers, weeks after he filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in hiring head coaches.
In an excerpt released by HBO, Flores reveals that he declined to sign a non-disparagement agreement with the Dolphins upon his dismissal. And in doing so, the coach cost himself millions of dollars. But being able to speak out against the wrongs he and fellow Black coaches have experienced was worth it to him.
“It was two years, it was a contract, and he — you know, to Coach Flores’ credit — he wasn’t gonna sign that, because it wasn’t about the money,” said Flores’s lawyer Doug Wigdor. “If it was about the money, he would have signed it. What he did instead was he filed this lawsuit so that he could help other coaches, now and in the future.”
Check out the clip from HBO:
Flores was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers last week as a senior defensive assistant. But Gumbel asked if there was ever consideration to returning to the New England Patriots, where he was an assistant before becoming the Dolphins’ head coach.
But in his lawsuit, Flores highlighted a text message exchange with Bill Belichick in which the famed coach mistook Flores for another of his former assistants, Brian Daboll, and congratulated him on being hired for the New York Giants’ head-coaching position. Flores was scheduled to interview for that job days later.
Flores said that he hasn’t talked to Belichick since the lawsuit was filed and those text messages were revealed. In previous interviews, Flores said he included the messages without consulting Belichick. Gumbel then asked if he expected to speak with the Patriots coach.
“I mean, there’s potential that we could run into each other,” said Flores. “I mean, I’d be open to a conversation. But, no, if that… we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Gumbel’s full interview with Flores also discusses being hired by Mike Tomlin, the NFL’s only Black coach before Lovie Smith was hired by the Texans and the Dolphins replaced Flores with Mike McDaniel. Flores and his lawyers are also asked about the NFL recently hiring former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend the league against the discrimination lawsuit.
The latest episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel premieres Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO. The show is also available on-demand and HBO Max, in addition to repeat airings on HBO networks.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling
“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”
An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.
Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.
The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.
The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage
“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”
The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.
Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.
“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.
Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.
How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.
NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake
“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”
The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.
“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”
Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.
Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.
Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”