(CBSMiami)- Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores released a statement today in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

The 39-year-old Flores is one of just four minority coaches in the NFL and he told ESPN that he hopes his statement can help create change and better understanding. Flores’ statement follows many athletes and coaches speaking out on social media over the course of this week in the wake of Floyd’s death. The team released the statement on its official Twitter account this afternoon.

In the statement, Flores says the events of the past few weeks have brought back memories of conversations he has had with people over the years, particularly in regards to Colin Kaepernick’s protest that caused him to “sever a few long-standing friendships.”

The Dolphins coach says that the level of outrage that he saw in the media and in conversations surrounding the possibility of incentivizing teams to hire minorities hasn’t been matched by those same people in conversations surrounding these deaths. Instead, he says in the statement, he has watched many of those people “QUIETLY say that watching George Floyd plead for help is one of the more horrible things they have seen, but it’s said amongst themselves where no one can hear. Broadcasting THAT opinion clearly is not important enough.”

Flores then goes on to encourage his players and anyone who wants to listen that “honesty, transparency, and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change.”

The full statement in its entirety is below.

“I’ve had the privilege of being a part of many different circles that have included some very powerful and influential people of all different races and genders. The events of the last few weeks have brought some of the memories of those conversations back to light. I vividly remember the Colin Kaepernick conversations. ‘Don’t ever disrespect the flag’ was the phrase that I heard over and over again. This idea that players were kneeling in support of social justice was something some people couldn’t wrap their head around. The outrage that I saw in the media and the anger I felt in some of my own private conversations caused me to sever a few long-standing friendships.

“Most recently, I’ve had conversations about incentivizing teams for hiring minorities. Again, there was some outrage in the media and talks that this would cause division amongst coaches, executives and ownership. I bring these situations up because I haven’t seen the same OUTRAGE from people of influence when the conversation turns to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently George Floyd. Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling or on the hiring of minorities don’t seem to have an opinion on the recent murders of these young black men and women. I think many of them QUIETLY say that watching George Floyd plead for help is one of the more horrible things they have seen, but it’s said amongst themselves where no one can hear. Broadcasting THAT opinion clearly is not important enough.

“I lead a group of young men who have the potential to make a real impact in this world. My message to them and anyone else who wants to listen is that honesty, transparency, and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change. I hope that the tragedies of the last few weeks will open our hearts and minds to a better way of communicating and hopefully create that change.”

Comments