The Jon Gruden era in Las Vegas came to a shocking and abrupt end on Monday evening, as the 58-year-old Raiders head coach resigned amidst a controversy over numerous emails he sent that contained blatantly misogynistic and anti-LGBT language.
The emails, which were reported by the New York Times Monday, spanned over a seven-year period from 2011 to 2018, during which Gruden worked for ESPN. The controversy began last week when the league uncovered in an unrelated investigation of the Washington Football Team that the Raiders head coach used a racist trope to describe NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in an email to former WFT executive Bruce Allen back in 2011.
That turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Former NFL punter Pat McAfee was the latest to address the Gruden controversy during his The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday morning. The 34-year-old has become one of the most influential voices in sports media today and delivered a strong statement about what those in an around the league must do to learn from the past week’s events going forward.
Here’s a snippet of what he said:
“I normally, and we normally, stay out of the real world stuff mostly because there is no reason for anybody to think that their opinion should be sway by us when it comes to real world stuff… But when it moves itself into our world, especially in the fashion that it did, we have to talk about it,” McAfee said Tuesday. “I’m gonna talk about Jon Gruden being an obviously very hateful man, who probably doesn’t have any friends in any of the communities that he, I guess, unknowingly offended completely… We’re at a point where enough of us know people who are members of these communities that we can evolve into people that don’t have to use words that make somebody feel terrible about themself…”
“You can’t just plead ignorance, you can’t just say ‘I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.’ Because it’s very evident that if you’re willing to put it on record and type it down, you’re probably using it everyday… I just think it’s an evolution. We’re always going to have hateful assholes. I hate that it’s gonna happen, but the reality is this is going to happen… As the years go on, hopefully we become and pioneer this road to a tolerant society of understanding. As we continue to do that, we’re going to learn about people that aren’t necessarily on the same ideals of the future. We can’t let them bring out the worst in everybody…”
My thoughts on the Jon Gruden emails..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 12, 2021
Gruden’s actions were very obviously indefensible and his resignation was the bare minimum of what should’ve been done in regard to his offensive emails.
Gruden and the Raiders parted ways in just the fourth season of his 10-year contract. He posted a 22-31 record in 53 games as the franchise’s head coach.