Gruden’s Fall from NFL Supremacy

By: Rohan Bommaraju — Sports Editor

Recently during the NFL’s investigation of the Washington Football Team (then Washington Redskin) a treasure trove of emails has emerged. Of which, damning emails from now resigned Las Vegas Raiders Head coach Jon Gruden that were sent to Former Football Team General Manager Bruce Allen during Gruden’s tenure as the color commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast between the years 2010 and 2018. 

Within the emails that were leaked to the Washington Post, showed Gruden using racist language towards the head of the NFLPA, showing sexist views saying that women should not become referees, and used homophobic language when speaking about NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell and the NFL drafting players who belong to the LGBTQ community. 

Opinions on the topic were mixed amongst the student body of SHS. Sharon High School Senior Felix Ivanov says that Gruden’s emails were worthy enough reasons for him to tender his resignation. “Without a doubt. His comments were discriminatory and there should be no place for that anywhere.” 

Sharon High School senior Jacob Spodek says that the emails by Gruden were not worth his resignation. “Some of his comments were not good, but these were seven to ten-year-old emails. Context is important for a lot of this, specifically in the Goodell email, he was voicing his frustrations about Goodell and used a word to insult that is considered a hurtful word.”

Spodek added, “[Gruden] is a football coach, many of these people say [things] like this all the time and you’ll never hear about it because it’s private. These were private emails that weren’t supposed to be read by anyone else. The NFL is a soft league that conformed to cancel culture and for public relations.”

Gruden has publicly defended his actions in the emails saying that he is not a racist. “I’m not a racist … I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to D[emarcus] Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life.”

Gruden added, “I had no racial intention with those remarks at all. I’m not like that at all. I apologize. I don’t want to keep addressing it.”

Sharon High School Junior Jack Bates says that he was not surprised this happened to Gruden. “I think if you investigated a lot of NFL coaches you would see them doing the same thing as Gruden. He’s a hard-nosed guy like a bunch of NFL coaches and I think unfortunately it’s just the environment of the NFL as a whole. It will be tough until a new generation of everything [coaches, front office and players] comes into the NFL.“

Ivanov says that Gruden has no place in the NFL or modern society. “I hope he learns to not be such a bad person, but until then I think he should just sit on his millions and not spread his message nor be in a position of power.“

Bates also says that Gruden will not get a job in the NFL’s sphere of influence again.  “We live in a day and age where these comments made by him are not acceptable and no NFL/media brand would want to tarnish their image by signing him.”

Due to his statements in these emails, Gruden was removed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of honor of which he was inducted into in 2018 for his efforts to bring Tampa their first Superbowl win in 2003.

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