It has been a crazy week for the NFL and some of their coaches. One coach, in particular, is former Buccaneer coach Jon Gruden. Gruden made headlines for emails that were sent in the past with racist and homophobic remarks.
On Friday, October 8th, it was revealed that Jon Gruden sent emails to former WFT General Manager Bruce Allen saying that NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith “has lips the size of Michelin tires”. These emails were sent while Gruden was working for ESPN as a color commentary analyst for Monday Night Football. This was only the beginning of things for Gruden and his past.
On Monday, October 11th, the New York Times wrote an article detailing more emails that Gruden sent.
In the emails detailed by NYT, Gruden called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “f****t” and a “clueless anti-football p***y”. Jon even went on to talk about former Rams coach Jeff Fisher being pressured into drafting Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player, who he called a “q***r”.
As of Monday night, Gruden informed the Raiders that he was resigning. Gruden released a statement and it reads as follows:
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Jon Gruden became the Buccaneers head coach back in 2002 after the team fired Tony Dungy and traded the Oakland Raiders draft picks and money to acquire him. In his first season with the team, Gruden won Super Bowl XXXVII defeating his former team. In his tenure in Tampa, he went 57-55 (.509) and made the playoffs three out of seven seasons.
On December 19, 2017, Gruden was inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. The Ring of Honor is a way for the team to honor those who made an impact while with the franchise. There are currently 14 members in the Ring of Honor. These members are Lee Roy Selmon, John McKay, Jimmie Giles Jr., Paul Gruber, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, Mike Alstott, Doug Williams, John Lynch, Malcolm Glazer, Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin, Rondé Barber, and Gruden.
As of today, The Buccaneers have officially announced that Gruden has been removed from their Ring of Honor as of today. Below is the statement from the organization:
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity, and inclusion for many years. While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
According to Jenna Laine of ESPN, his name will be removed from the stadium. The team has not made a decision about his statue inside of the lobby at the practice facility due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Written by Cory Hays