Jon Gruden is being blasted over the past few days regarding some emails he sent 10 years ago.
The Las Vegas Raiders head coach reportedly took shots at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that had vulgar references towards him, according to ESPN. The emails also reportedly had harsh words for a handful of team owners who were involved in the 2011 labor disagreement that led to a lockout.
“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 said Friday night to ESPN. “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 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.”
Gruden did not go into detail about which owners were mentioned and league officials declined to confirm the exact number of emails that were turned over to Raiders owner Mark Davis and team executives. The league official also would not address the specific vitriol Gruden directed at Goodell.
Gruden says he is aware of five to seven emails that were flagged by the league.
On Friday, Gruden became a trending topic after the Wall Street Journal reported his racist comment in reference to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. Gruden said Friday that he is “ashamed I insulted De Smith” and added that he “never had a racial thought” when he sent the email.
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin [sic] tires.”
The 58-year-old said he was displeased with the direction that Smith had taken the NFLPA during the lockout and had used the term “rubber lips” to describe people he thought were liars in the past, though he added that his email went “too far.”
Smith commented on the email:
“This is not the first racist comment that I’ve heard and it probably will not be the last. This is a thick skin job for someone with dark skin, just like it always has been for many people who look like me and work in corporate America. You know people are sometimes saying things behind your back that are racist just like you see people talk and write about you using thinly coded and racist language.
“Racism like this comes from the fact that I’m at the same table as they are and they don’t think someone who looks like me belongs. I’m sorry my family has to see something like this but I would rather they know. I will not let it define me.”