NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith apparently isn’t the only person Jon Gruden disparaged in his emails in 2011.
Gruden used a racist trope to describe Smith when sending an email about the league’s collective bargaining agreement situation in 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” he wrote, per The Wall Street Journal.
Gruden says he did not intend for the description to be racist. However, there is a long, racist history of depicting Black people with large lips. Many in the NFL world have referred to Gruden’s email as a racist one.
Smith isn’t the only person Gruden disparaged, either. The Las Vegas Raiders head coach admitted that he also spoke poorly of NFL commissioner Jon Gruden.
“I was in a bad frame of mind at the time [in 2011], and I called Roger Goodell a [expletive] in one of these emails too,” the Raiders coach told ESPN on Friday night. “They were keeping players and coaches from doing what they love with a lockout. There also were a lot of things being reported publicly about the safety of the sport that I love. I was on a mission with high school football [in the Tampa, Florida, area] during that time, and there were a lot of parents who were scared about letting their kids play football. It just didn’t sit well with me.”
It seems possible that Gruden will not survive this email scandal.
“For us to be moving back and not forward … National Football League, this hurts me.”
A powerful conversation from the Sunday NFL Countdown crew on Jon Gruden’s 2011 email that included a racist comment in reference to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith: pic.twitter.com/FQvMGFUfOj
— ESPN (@espn) October 10, 2021
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 10, 2021
Jon Gruden was 48 years old in 2011. https://t.co/p5XR3z7Gmr
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) October 8, 2021
Urban Meyer and Jon Gruden both get to still be a part of the NFL, but Colin Kaepernick does not. How messed up is that ?
— Jimmy Malone, Liberal & Ultra-Masker (@malonespeaking) October 9, 2021
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a watchdog group that seeks diversity in the NFL, has released a statement on the matter.
“The insensitive remarks made by Jon Gruden about DeMaurice Smith are indicative of the racism that exists on many levels of professional sports,” executive director Rod Graves said in a statement issued Sunday morning. “Furthermore, it reveals that the journey for African Americans and other minorities in sports, is riddled with irrepressible mindsets at the highest level. It is our hope that the League and team ownership will address this matter with a remedy commensurate with these painful words. This is yet another inflection point in a society fraught with cynical social blinders, absent of respect for the intellectual capacity and leadership of minorities. When will it end?”
It’s unclear where this will end, but this much is clear – it’s far from over.
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