The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Tuesday that they are removing Jon Gruden from the team’s Ring of Honor.
The announcement comes one day after Gruden resigned as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the wake of further allegations of inappropriate emails.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the Buccaneers’ statement read. “While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
The New York Times reported Monday the existence of numerous emails that included homophobic or misogynistic terms. That news followed a Friday report from the Wall Street Journal that Gruden used racist language in a 2011 email when describing the appearance of DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association. Gruden apologized but said he didn’t remember writing the email.
Gruden also allegedly used foul terms to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, including an anti-gay slur, and used a different anti-gay slur while writing about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. Sam was selected by the then-St. Louis Rams in the seventh round in 2014 but never played a regular-season game in the league.
Gruden, 58, has sandwiched stints as the head coach of the Raiders around a run with the Buccaneers. He posted a 57-55 record with Tampa Bay from 2002-08, including a win in Super Bowl XXXVII after the 2002 season.
–Field Level Media