Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has apologized for a decade-old electronic mail during which he invoked a racist trope about NFLPA govt director DeMaurice Smith, in accordance with the Wall Avenue Journal.
Each Smith and the NFL have condemned the assertion.
The e-mail was reportedly despatched in July 2011, when the NFL and its union have been locked in a labor dispute. After the league’s gamers voted towards ratifying a brand new collective bargaining settlement, Gruden — then working as an analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night time Soccer” reportedly despatched the next electronic mail:
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the scale of michellin (sic) tires.”
Massive lips are sometimes used as a trope in anti-Black cartoons and different imagery.
The e-mail was reportedly despatched to Bruce Allen, then the president of the crew now generally known as the Washington Soccer Group, and got here to mild through the NFL’s investigation into claims of office misconduct within the group.
Jon Gruden apologizes for DeMaurice Smith electronic mail
In an interview with the Journal, Gruden reportedly mentioned he would not recall writing the e-mail, however apologized for what he mentioned:
“I’m actually sorry,” he mentioned.
Gruden mentioned he had been indignant on the time due to the lockout and didn’t belief the route the gamers, led by Smith, have been going within the negotiations. He mentioned he has prior to now referred to individuals he believes to be mendacity as “rubber lips” and that he took it “too far.”
“I used to be upset,” Gruden mentioned. “I used a horrible means of explaining it.”
“I don’t assume he’s dumb. I don’t assume he’s a liar,” Gruden mentioned. “I don’t have a racial bone in my physique, and I’ve confirmed that for 58 years.”
Gruden has been the pinnacle coach of the Raiders since 2018, when he signed a file 10-year, $100 million contract to return to teaching after 9 years with ESPN.
NFL reviewing electronic mail, whereas DeMaurice Smith calls it ‘racist’
Per the Journal, the NFL is reviewing Gruden’s standing with the Raiders for potential self-discipline. It additionally launched an announcement condemning the e-mail:
“The e-mail from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly opposite to the NFL’s values,” the NFL mentioned. “We condemn the assertion and remorse any hurt that its publication might inflict on Mr. Smith or anybody else.”
In the meantime, Smith laid into Gruden’s language, calling it emblematic of the racism males like him can face within the league:
“This isn’t the primary racist remark that I’ve heard and it in all probability won’t be the final. It is a thick pores and skin job for somebody with darkish pores and skin, identical to it at all times has been for many individuals who seem like me and work in company America,” Smith mentioned. “ individuals are generally saying issues behind your again which might be racist identical to you see individuals discuss and write about you utilizing thinly coded and racist language.”
“Racism like this comes from the truth that I’m on the identical desk as they’re and so they don’t assume somebody who appears to be like like me belongs,” Smith mentioned. “I’m sorry my household has to see one thing like this however I’d fairly they know. I can’t let it outline me.”
‘Racism like this comes from the truth that I’m on the identical desk as they’re and so they don’t assume somebody who appears to be like like me belongs,’ DeMaurice Smith mentioned.
Each the Raiders and Allen reportedly didn’t have a remark for the Journal.