October 13, 2021

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden stepped down Monday as the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders football team hours after The New York Times detailed emails in which he had made homophobic and misogynistic remarks.” New York Times

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2011 Gruden “sent an email about DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, to a team executive. Gruden’s email described Smith with a racist trope common in anti-Black imagery.” Wall Street Journal

Many on both sides accuse the NFL of hypocrisy:

There is a blatant and disturbing double standard in the outrage over Gruden’s emails versus how the NFL treats its star players when they are involved in misconduct. It’s no secret that the league has long allowed moneymakers to get away with assault, domestic violence, and other horrible crimes so long as they perform on the field…

“Gruden’s emails were unearthed during the discovery process for an investigation into the [Washington Football Team’s] alleged toxic workplace environment. Investigators had access to more than half a million emails as part of the investigation, but oddly only Gruden’s were leaked to the media. Not only have we not seen Snyder’s emails, we don’t even really know the results of the investigation because the NFL opted not to publicly release detailed findings…

“To recap, if you are accused by nearly 50 women of running a toxic and sexist workplace environment but suck up to the NFL commissioner, you will get a slap on the wrist. If you beat your girlfriend, you will be drafted and rewarded with a multi-million dollar contract. But if you call the NFL commissioner a ‘pussy,’ ‘someone’ will leak your emails to the media and you will lose your job.”
Amber Athey, Spectator USA

If the NFL is seeking to repair its image, what about the Washington Football Team? The Gruden emails were directed to Bruce Allen, who was president of the team at the time, and thus were unearthed as part of the WFT investigation. Did Mr. Allen, or any other Washington executive, object or report the offensive remarks? The public doesn’t know the answer to that, or many other questions, because the league instructed the lawyer who had been hired to investigate the Washington Football Team not to prepare a written report…

“The National Football League spent 10 months investigating the toxic culture of the Washington Football Team after dozens of women came forward with complaints of sexual harassment and mistreatment. It interviewed hundreds of witnesses and collected some 650,000 documents. No information, nothing but a vacuous statement, was released… ‘Why has the NFL gone to such lengths to bury this investigation but yet is willing to cherry pick these emails and put them out in the public sphere?’ asked Lisa Banks, attorney for 40 women who brought complaints… What are they hiding?”
Editorial Board, Washington Post

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