When the topic of Kaepernick’s national anthem protest arose in one of Gruden’s emails with former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen, the two both expressed anger.
Came For Kaep
In an email sent on Aug. 28, 2016, Gruden said Kaepernick should be cut from the NFL.
“They suspend people for taking amino acids they should cut this f—,” Gruden wrote to Allen.
Allen’s response: He had already “expressed my OUTRAGE” over the Kaepernick protests.
Gruden replied, “Good for you.” The old NFL guard proving what is said in the dark becomes the standard in the light.
Cancel Culture is not what Jon Gruden did to himself.
Cancel Culture is what the ENTIRE NFL OWNERSHIP did to Colin Kaepernick.
— Dr. Abdul El-Sayed (@AbdulElSayed) October 12, 2021
Kaepernick challenged the tone and tenor of the NFL with his silent protest by kneeling during the anthem. His goal was to call attention to rampant police brutality, and the racist overtones in America reflected in the national anthem.
Gruden also brought up former San Francisco 49er Eric Reid, who stood with Kaepernick in solidarity. He said he should be fired, according to The New York Times.
Ironically, the Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder used the emails in June court filings in U.S. District Court in Arizona. The email evidence was used in a lawsuit against an Indian media outlet that — without evidence — linked Snyder to child rapist Jeffrey Epstein.
Snyder was trying to connect Allen as a source for the Indian outlet’s the false reports. Allen denied being the site’s source and claimed in court filings that he rarely dealt with reporters. Snyder’s response was to produce many of Allen’s work emails from his tenure with the Washington team. The Washington owner wanted the court to give him access to Allen’s private emails, and although a court dismissed that petition, but the work emails showed the former team president’s cozy relationship with media members.
Colin Kaepernick peacefully took a knee to protest police brutality & racism. Jon Gruden openly professed grotesque racism, bigotry, & misogyny for decades.
NFL ousted Kaepernick, but promoted Gruden. This is what institutional racism looks like. https://t.co/ddVCShEzud
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) October 12, 2021
Gruden is listed as “Redacted ESPN Personality” in the emails Snyder produced this summer. Gruden’s leaked emails were sent when he was an ESPN employee and not a member of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Gruden’s Two Faces
According to ESPN, Gruden said at a 2018 breakfast at an owners meeting he was “surprised” Kaepernick wasn’t in camp with at least one team.
“I think there’s a lot of intrigue there. His performance on the field wasn’t very good, on tape. I think, Robert Griffin, a rookie of the year, [I’m] surprised he’s out there. Tim Tebow takes a team to the playoffs, there’s some surprise that he never came back. You know, Johnny Manziel, he’s out there,” he said.
“Back to Kaepernick, he got beat out by [Blaine] Gabbert to start the  season. I think that says something. [But] I am surprised he’s not in camp with somebody. He probably will be soon.”
ESPN’s Jon Gruden in 2016: The NFL should “cut” Colin Kaepernick for protesting.
ABC’s Howard Cosell in 1968: pic.twitter.com/VbA32ESAv9
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) October 16, 2021
Changing The Guard
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2016 season. He hasn’t played in the NFL since 2017 after opting for free agency. Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL — one Reid later joined — after he wasn’t re-signed, alleging a conspiracy by the owners.
The popular opinion was that the protests stopped his ability to find another job in the NFL. Eventually, Kaepernick and Reid reached a confidential settlement with the NFL in 2019 in the collusion case.
Jon Gruden’s email regarding Colin Kaepernick: “They should cut this f*ck.”
Gruden sent this to a NFL team executive while working for ESPN. pic.twitter.com/uWKhQEycrM
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) October 15, 2021
Kaepernick laid the groundwork for a new era in the NFL. Players on other teams felt brave enough to protest, prompting the NFL to adopt a different approach. Messages displayed on helmets, in the end zone, and playing “Lift Ev’ry Voice” before games.
End Of An Era
Gruden resigned last week as Raiders coach after many emails revealed racist, misogynistic, and anti-gay language. In addition, the NFL is under pressure to release more emails from its investigation into the Washington Football Team culture.
Former Washington Football Team employees sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to make the investigative reports public earlier this year.