After the Las Vegas Raiders’ loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, the weight lay heavy head on coach Jon Gruden for more than just the 20-9 defeat.
Gruden is still reeling from the 2011 email revelation that displayed his prejudice toward the executive director of the National Football Players Association, DeMaurice Smith.
ESPN analyst Keyhsawn Johnson, who won a Super Bowl with Gruden in Tampa Bay, straight up blasted the integrity and character of his ex-coach.
“He’s a bad person. I tried to tell people this when I played for this man,” Keyshawn lamented.
“We dealing with some race insenstitive behavior by a head coach who many thought didn’t even deserve the opportunityto coach the Raiders.”
In the 2011 email, Gruden said that Smith had “lips the size of a michellin tires,” according to The Wall Street Journal report. Gruden wrote the email while working for ESPN as the lead analyst on “Monday Night Football.” He had emailed Bruce Allen, who was then the president of the Washington Redskins, as the team was called at the time.
The email was discovered during the league’s investigation of workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team.
“I’m not a racist,” said Gruden during the postgame presser. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to D. Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. I apologize for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intent with those remarks at all. I’m not like that at all. I don’t want to keep addressing it.
“I have not had any contact with them (NFL) yet, but we’ll see what happens here in the next few days. I can’t remember a lot of the things that have transpired 10 or 12 years ago but I stand here in front of everybody apologizing.
“I dont have an ounce of racism in me. I’m a guy that takes pride in leading people together and i’ll continue doing that for the rest of my life. Again I apologize to D. Smith and anybody that I have offended.”
Gruden addressed his players during a Friday morning meeting. He informed them about the article coming out in The Wall Street Journal to avoid a surprise.
The Locker Room
“I let it go as soon as we walked out of the meeting room,” said Raiders linebacker Denzel Perryman. “I wasn’t focused on that. Still not focused on it. So, I mean, I don’t know what he said. I could care less, honestly. I don’t know how many years ago it was, but my main focus this week was on the Bears, not whatever he had going on.”
Randy Moss on Jon Gruden using a racist trope in an email: pic.twitter.com/rWcHeB60is
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2021
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr echoed the sentiment explaining how the team is rallying around the coach.
“Us as a team, we’re like, ‘Yeah, Coach, it was 10 years ago. We love you, man. We got your back,'” Carr said. “We’re just trying to be there to support Coach. I know it’s a hard time for him. He told us, ‘Men, learn from my mistake.’ When we left that meeting, we didn’t take it as how it came out.”
“I love everybody. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. And I don’t believe that Coach does, either. I really don’t.”
So Jon Gruden's racist email against NFLPA exec director DeMaurice Smith is exposed and I see more NFL people defending Gruden than defending Smith. Kind of gives the game away.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) October 11, 2021
Gruden is one of the most vocal coaches in the NFL and has become a character in sports for his hot/cold personality. However, fire and passion have limitations when you are on a platform like the NFL, and he now knows the ledge.