Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is hot water after an email from 2011 surfaced with some pretty racially-charged language from the head coach.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Gruden sent an email to the president of the Washington Football Team in the midst of the NFL lockout. At the time, Gruden was a broadcaster for ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast.
In the email, Gruden said the following regarding DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association:
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires.”
Although Gruden said he doesn’t remember sending the email, he has since apologized, saying:
“I’m really sorry… I was upset. I used a horrible way of explaining it.”
He added that in the past, he’s referred to people he believes to be lying as “rubber lips” and that he took it “too far.”
“I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar… I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years.”
Jon Gruden discussed the article with his players this morning. Here are his comments to me on the offensive email: pic.twitter.com/7gkNd5Rzzs
“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.”
The email was discovered when the league was investigating workplace misconduct in the Washington Football Team organization. And while the investigation is ongoing, the quickly denounced the contents of Gruden’s email.
According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy:
“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values.
We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”
Naturally, folks took to Twitter to tear into Gruden:
Jon Gruden is a fu***** disgrace and racist piece of garbage. Fire his ass immediately @Raiders.