More emails from Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden emails were forwarded by the NFL to the team after a racially sensitive communication surfaced last week, ESPN reported Monday.
According to the report, the NFL is monitoring the situation to see how the Raiders handle the situation.
In a report Friday from the Wall Street Journal, Gruden used racist language in a 2011 email when describing the appearance of DeMaurice Smith, the Black executive director of the NFLPA.
Gruden was working as ESPN’s color commentator for “Monday Night Football” at the time the initial email in question was sent.
The newspaper reached Gruden for comment, and he apologized while saying he did not recall writing the email in question. “I’m really sorry,” he said. Gruden again apologized Sunday after the Raiders were upset 20-9 by the Chicago Bears. Also on Sunday, he admitted to writing a series of emails a decade ago that disparaged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and criticized several team owners.
“I can’t tell you how sick I am,” Gruden said. “I apologize again to De Smith. But I feel good about who I am, what I’ve done my entire life. And I apologize for the insensitive remarks I had. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all. … I’m not like that at all. But I apologize.”
According to the Journal, the league uncovered the email while reviewing 650,000 emails during its investigation into the Washington Football Team’s workplace culture.
It is unclear whether Gruden will face punishment from the league or the Raiders.
“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values,” the NFL said in a statement. “We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”
Smith, who has served as the players association’s executive director since 2009, told the Journal that it was “not the first racist comment that I’ve heard, and it probably will not be the last.”
Smith further addressed the subject on social media Monday.
“The email from Jon Gruden – and some of the reaction to it – confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over,” Smith said in a four-post thread on Twitter. “This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less.”
–Field Level Media