Over the past few days, countless current and former NFL players have commented on Jon Gruden’s situation.
Gruden informed the Las Vegas Raiders’ staff on Monday that he’s stepping down. His decision came shortly after a report from The New York Times emerged. The report uncovered that Gruden used homophobic and misogynistic language in a series of emails he sent several years ago to former Washington general manager Bruce Allen and others around the league.
Former NFL wide receiver Andre Rison, who played for Gruden in 2000, went to bat for his former coach during an interview with TMZ Sports. He made sure to state on the record that he doesn’t believe Gruden is a racist.
“We all say some things behind closed doors that we regret or we wouldn’t say in public,” Rison said. “We’ve all made mistakes.”
Andre Rison is going to bat for Jon Gruden, telling TMZ Sports he knows the former NFL head coach is definitely "not a racist." https://t.co/JBQakgl4e5
— TMZ (@TMZ) October 16, 2021
Rison isn’t the only player who didn’t think Gruden was racist or misogynistic during their time together. Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper made similar comments earlier this week.
“I’ve seen a lot of different things happen, so I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, but knowing Gruden, I never thought he was a racist,” Cooper told reporters. “I never thought he was a misogynistic or anything like that.”
Gruden has apologized for the language he used in his old emails. That being said, the damage has already been done.