The inevitable disassociation from former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is underway.
Following reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which detailed emails sent by Gruden over the course of a decade that included gay slurs and racially insensitive messages, Gruden resigned from his head coaching position Monday evening.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement put out by the Raiders. “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
The blowback was swift and fast, with members of the media and of the NFL community quickly condemning Gruden’s emails from years past while demanding that society be better.
On Tuesday, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went on “The Pat McAfee Show” and said that Gruden’s resignation was “best for both parties.”
“It was surprising to see that the thing went so quickly, but I think that was probably the best decision for all parties involved,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully we can all as a league learn and grow from this. Hopefully, it puts people on notice who have some of those same opinions. Like, ‘Hey man, it’s time to grow and evolve and change and connect. That s— doesn’t fly.’”
Rodgers also said that people need to be given the opportunity to “grow and change”, though Gruden certainly has not been granted that opportunity.
“I know that there’s opinions similar to that, but I feel they’re few and far between,” Rodgers said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show. “The player and the coach of today is a more empathetic, advanced, progressive, loving, connected type of person. I’m proud of the kind of locker room we have.”
“We need to allow people to grow and change, but those opinions don’t have a place in the game,” the three-time MVP said.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the defending Super Bowl champions — are doing their best to cut all ties from the coach that led the franchise to their first Super Bowl, removing Gruden from their Ring of Honor.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team statement read. “While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
Gruden won a Super Bowl in his first year as head coach of the Buccaneers in 2002 after being traded from the then-Oakland Raiders and was inducted into Tampa Bay’s Ring of Honor in 2017.
Gruden’s emails were discovered during the NFL’s investigation of workplace misconduct inside the Washington Football Team organization.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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