Raiders Coach Jon Gruden In Hot Water Over Racist Comment In 2011 Email About NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith

A report that Jon Gruden used a racist comment about NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith in an email 10 years ago drew a strong & quick rebuke Friday from the NFL.

A Wall Street Journal story noted that Gruden, then working for ESPN and now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features.

“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We condemn the statement & regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”

The league is looking into the matter & a person familiar with that probe told said that disciplinary action is possible for Gruden. 

Gruden’s comment in an email to then-Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen came during the 2011 lockout of the players by the NFL. Gruden told the newspaper he was angry about the lockout during labor negotiations & he didn’t trust the direction the union was taking. He also apologized for the remark.

“Dum­b­oriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” Gruden wrote in the email.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement Gruden’s email does not reflect the team’s standards.

“The content of an email regarding DeMaurice Smith from Jon Gruden when he worked for ESPN 10 years ago is disturbing & not what the Raiders stand for,” Davis said. “We were first made aware of the email late yesterday by a reporter & are reviewing it along with other materials provided to us today by the NFL. We are addressing the matter with Coach Gruden & will have no further comment at this time.”

Gruden defended his resume on racial equality & inclusion while admitting his email went “too far.”

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Source: AP

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