The Las Vegas Raiders team started the 2021 season with a solid 3-1, but now they are in the middle of a problem. The coach, Jon Gruden , has never saved anything, neither as a coach nor as a television analyst. He has been able to avoid controversy during his career, but that has changed.
During his exile from the NFL in 2011, he emailed former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen referring to NFL Players Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith.
“Tontoriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires,” Gruden wrote in the e-mail, according to The Wall Street Journal .
Jon Gruden, head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, used a racist trope when describing the top NFL players' executive in a 2011 email https://t.co/FYHLHqrOsY
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 8, 2021
“He was angry,” Gruden told The Wall Street Journal. “It was horrible how I put it.”
“I don’t think it’s stupid. I don’t think I’m a liar, ”he said. “I am in no way a racist, and I have shown that for 58 years.”
Smith talks about Gruden’s email
Smith has been the leader of the NFLPA for a decade. He said Gruden’s comments were “racist” but said he would not let that “define” him, according to a statement he published in The Wall Street Journal.
“This is not the first racist comment I have heard and it probably will not be the last. For someone with dark skin, you have to be made of stone to be able to do this job. It’s always had to be that way for people like me in the corporate world of this country, ”Smith said. “Sometimes people say racist things behind your back in the same way that they also say and write things using racist language in code.”
The statement did not end there, “racism of this type occurs because I am at the same height as them and they believe someone like me does not belong that same place. I’m sorry my family has to see this, but I’d rather they know. I won’t let it define me ”.
Gruden said he has tried to reach Smith but has not yet been able to reach him, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic .
NFL condemns Gruden’s comments
The NFL and the NFLPA have disagreed many times in the past, but still work together to make the sport what it is. The League is not at all happy with the language used by Gruden.
“Jon Gruden’s e-mail denigrating DeMaurice Smith is horrible, aberrant and totally contrary to the values of the NFL, ” the NFL said in a statement released Oct. 8. “We condemn what was said and regret any harm done to Mr. Smith or anyone else.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis also released a statement saying Gruden’s comments are “disturbing and contrary to Raiders values.”
It remains to be seen what will happen to Gruden. He is one of the most important coaches in this sport.
“We learned of the existence of this e-mail last night from a reporter. We are reviewing it along with other materials provided today by the NFL, ”Davis said in the statement. “We are discussing the matter with Coach Gruden and we will not discuss this further at the moment.”
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.