Jon Gruden might be effectively blackballed out of the NFL, but not everybody is against him.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp sat for an interview with Vlad TV and made sure to explain how Jon Gruden is not racist.
Full transcript of the exchange, via BroBible:
Vlad TV: “Gruden used a racist stereotype to describe NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, saying ‘DeMaurice Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires.’”
Warren Sapp: “That’s racist? If he walked in and said when I walk in my locker room ‘it looks like I got a bunch of DeMaurice Smith’s in there by the mouth’, that would be a racial trope. But to say DeMaurice Smith got big lips? Yeah, DeMaurice Smith got big lips just like Barack Obama got big ears. We been calling Big-Lipped Johnny ‘Big Lipped Johnny’ for the last 40 years.
I bet this is the first time in DeMaurice Smith’s life someone called him ‘big lipped’ and he said it was racist.”
Vlad TV: “Well, he also called Roger Goodell a ‘f—-t’.”
Warren Sapp: “That’s not racist.”
Vlad TV: “It’s homophobic.”
Warren Sapp: “That’s not racist. I asked a question I said, ‘what’s the racist statement?’ The rest of that is way out of line across the board. But you’re not going to call my head coach a racist.
I sat in front of him for two years and I’m a child of the South. I was raised in Florida. There’s no way a fire-breathing racist would be in front of me or on my speed dial and we haven’t had a real discussion about ‘your tendencies to not see the black man on your level’. There’s no way Jon Gruden’s that.
I’ll bet my life on it that’s the first time DeMaurice… ‘Big Lipped’ DeMaurice Smith said somebody called him ‘big lipped’ and it was racist.”
Vlad TV: “Okay, so the whole thing is overblown?”
Warren Sapp: “No. Just not racist. Just don’t put that tag on it.”
During the 2011 player lockout, Gruden sent a racially charged email describing the National Football Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith in a derogatory manner. “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” wrote Gruden in the email.
Gruden sent the email to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Commanders.
Jon Gruden discussed the article with his players this morning. Here are his comments to me on the offensive email: pic.twitter.com/7gkNd5Rzzs
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) October 8, 2021
Gruden attempted to explain that in the past he has referred to people he believes to be lying as “rubber lips.” Gruden also admitted that he took it “too far.”
“I was upset,” Gruden said. “I used a horrible way of explaining it.”
“I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar,” Gruden said. “I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years.”
He would eventually be forced to step down from his head coaching position with the Raiders. He is currently enthralled in a lawsuit against the NFL.