Yesterday, Sunday Night Football had Tony Dungy and Mike Tirico awkwardly defend Jon Gruden in light of the revelation of his racist email, which was strange and unpleasant to watch:
There was literally no reason for Dungy nor Tirico to try to shield Gruden last night. That was a choice. And one that is rightfully gonna bite them both in the ass.— Stephen White (@sgw94) October 12, 2021
Among other things this represents a bet that there would be nothing else in Gruden’s emails that would be similarly hateful. This is…a terrible bet, and sure enough:
When the vaunted N.F.L. coach Jon Gruden was confronted with a racist email he had sent in 2011 to insult the head of the players’ union, he said he went too far but didn’t have “a blade of racism” in him. [A whole shoulder, apparently. -ed.]
But league officials as part of a separate workplace misconduct investigation that did not directly involve him have found that Gruden, now the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, casually and frequently unleashed misogynistic and homophobic language over several years to denigrate people around the game and to mock some of the league’s momentous changes.
He denounced the emergence of women as referees, the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem, according to emails reviewed by The New York Times.
Gruden’s messages were sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team, and others, while he was working for ESPN as a color analyst during “Monday Night Football,” the sports network’s weekly prime-time telecast of N.F.L. games. In the emails, Gruden called the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti football pussy” and said that Goodell should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the coach of the Rams, to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player chosen by the team in 2014.
n numerous emails during a seven-year period ending in early 2018, Gruden criticized Goodell and the league for trying to reduce concussions and said that Eric Reid, a player who had demonstrated during the playing of the national anthem, should be fired. In several instances, Gruden used a homophobic slur to refer to Goodell and offensive language to describe some N.F.L. owners, coaches and journalists who cover the league.
But Gruden’s behavior was not limited to 2011. Gruden exchanged emails with Allen and other men that included photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including one photo of two Washington team cheerleaders.
Did I mention that Gruden was coaching the NFL’s first out gay player this year?
Raiders DE Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly out player, has been quietly kicking ass this year. The notion of him having to deal with this story makes me furious.— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 12, 2021
And, yes, I meant “was”:
Jon Gruden spoke with #Raiders owner Mark Davis a short time ago to inform Davis of his decision. It’s official. Gruden is out in Las Vegas. https://t.co/zkzkVryyfe— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 12, 2021
Never open your mouth until you know what the shot is.
To paraphrase Paul, repeatedly saying that many of your employees and colleagues are not worthy of equal treatment is actually a great reason for getting fired. One of the very best in fact.