Jon Gruden used racist trope in ‘appalling’ 2011 email about NFL union head DeMaurice Smith

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Las Vegas Raiders coach John Gruden used a racist trope in a 2011 email to describe NFL Players Association executive director Demoris Smith. A Wall Street Journal report on Friday.

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In the email, which was sent during the 2011 lockdown, Gruden wrote that: “Dumboriso [sic] Smith’s lips are the size of Michelin [sic] Tire.”

gruden told the newspaper That he didn’t remember to send the email in question and apologized for it. He said he sometimes describes people as having “rubber lips” when he thinks they are lying.


“I used a terrible way of explaining it,” Gruden told the Wall Street Journal.

“I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar. … I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven it for 58 years.”

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Meanwhile Smith told the newspaper That email isn’t the first racist comment he’s heard “and it probably won’t be the last.”

“This kind of racism comes from the fact that I’m at the same table as they are and they don’t think there’s anyone who looks like me,” he said. “I’m sorry my family had to see something like this, but I wish they knew. I won’t let it define me.”

Gruden said that he has reached smith But have yet to hear back from him.

The NFL became aware of the email as part of the Washington football team investigation that ended this summer.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed to USA Today Sports on Friday that investigators notified the NFL of emails that “raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation” and were reviewing them at the direction of the league’s official commissioner, Roger Goodell. Was doing. He said the league is sharing emails related to Gruden with Raiders officials.

“The email by John Gruden condemning DeMorris Smith is appalling, disgusting, and contrary to the values ​​of the NFL,” McCarthy said in a statement. “We condemn this statement and regret the loss caused by its publication to Mr. Smith or anyone else.”

wall street journal informed of A 2011 email from Gruden, who was working for ESPN at the time, was sent to then-Washington team chairman Bruce Allen. Allen previously served as an executive with both the Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Gruden was their head coach.

In a statement released later Friday, Raiders owner Mark Davis called the content of Gruden’s email “disturbing” and “what the Raiders don’t stand for.”

“We were first made aware of the email by a reporter late yesterday and are reviewing it along with other materials provided to us by the NFL today,” Davis said. “We are addressing the matter with Coach Gruden and will have no further comment at this time.”

Contact Tom Schadt at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Shad.

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