"Absolute falsehood" - Browns owner shoots down claims of paying former franchise HC to lose game

Los Angeles Chargers v Cleveland Browns
Los Angeles Chargers v Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam recently slammed former Browns head coach Hue Jackson for implying that the team incentivized him to lose games (known as tanking) when he was employed with the team in 2016 and 2017.

The report came in the wake of former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores suing the NFL for alleged racial discrimination in their hiring practices concerning minority coaches.

In the lawsuit, Flores alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay him $100,000 for each loss in 2019 as an incentive in an attempt to tank and earn the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

On Tuesday, Jackson said the following on Twitter in a reply to the allegations Flores made against the Dolphins:

"Well, Jimmy Haslam was happy while we kept losing."

A Twitter user then stated that "Jimmy Haslam wasn't offering $100k per loss or Hue would be on the Forbes list."

Jackson responded on Twitter with the following:

"Trust me, it was a good number."

Haslam has now responded in defense against the allegations from Jackson by saying the following:

“That is an absolute falsehood. And it’s also an absolute falsehood that I laughed while we were losing. Most people who know me would say, ‘That’s not how Jimmy would react to losing.’”

Cleveland's owner didn't stop there. He continued in a scathing rant against Hue Jackson and his time as head coach of the team:

“Hue Jackson has never ever accepted any responsibility for our record during that time period. He’s been masterful at pointing fingers but has never accepted any blame. I have accepted a ton of blame, and rightfully so. There are a lot of things I could’ve done better. Hue has never accepted blame for one thing.”

How well did the Cleveland Browns perform with Hue Jackson as head coach?

New Orleans Saints v Cleveland Browns
New Orleans Saints v Cleveland Browns

Hue Jackson was hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns on January 13, 2016. During his tenure (which lasted until October 2018, when he was relieved of his duties), he and the team had a record of 3-36-1.

The 2018 season began with a record of 2-5-1 before Jackson was fired. In the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Cleveland had a record of 1-31. In 2017, the team went 0-16, becoming the fifth team since 1944 to "accomplish" such a feat.

As the investigation into the allegations in Brian Flores' lawsuit continues, it remains to be seen if Jackson's comments will play a part in the final results.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht