Skechers dumps former Raiders coach Jon Gruden as brand ambassador after homophobic, misogynistic emails surface

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Result for former Las Vegas Raiders coach John Gruden resigns In what stemmed from leaked emails in which he used homophobic and anti-feminist language, at least one company backed by Gruden is backing out of its deal with it.

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Shoe and apparel company Skechers is ending its relationship with Gruden on Tuesday.

“The Skechers are aware of the recent press reporting on John Gruden’s email that led him to resign from his NFL coaching position. Upon learning of these incidents, we immediately terminated Mr. Gruden’s endorsement contract and our affiliation with him. ,” Jennifer Clay, Skechers Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing, wrote in an email to Granthshala Sports. “Skecher believes in equality, fostering tolerance and understanding for all people. It is at the core of who we are as a global lifestyle brand and for such behavior within our business Why do we have a zero-tolerance policy in which we operate formally. We believe it is imperative to take a stand against racist or derogatory comments and make everyone involved.”


Skechers previously announced that Gruden, 58, would be joining its roster of brand ambassadors on January 28. in a press release. As of Tuesday afternoon, Skechers had removed the webpage that announced its partnership with Gruden.

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“We’re always on the lookout for fan favorites to represent our men’s collection and John Gruden, with his colorful personality, fits the bill,” Skechers president Michael Greenberg said in a January release. “From winning a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay to his weekly Gruden Grinder Awards as a broadcaster, fans have been paying attention to what John does and says for decades. We believe his signature leadership is that of sports celebrities. will seamlessly fit into our roster and help tell the story of how our athletic and casual footwear and apparel deliver style and comfort for men everywhere.”

The company has worked with several NFL figures and has current relationships with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current CBS analyst Tony Romo and former Raiders defensive lineman and current Fox analyst Howie Long.

Gruden’s arrangement with Skechers was for him to star in a national, multi-platform marketing campaign. He had already appeared in two television commercials that aired in the spring and summer.

Gruden’s resignation came a little over an hour later The New York Times revealed Monday night excerpts from the 58-year-old coach’s emails, which were sent between 2011 and 2018 and obtained by the NFL as part of an unrelated investigation. Washington football team.

The Times reported that, among other things, Gruden used a homophobic slur to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, condemning a team’s decision to draft a gay player, of transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner. derided the female referee and suggested that a player who kneels during the national anthem should be played.

The Wall Street Journal reported separately on Friday that Gruden used a racist trope When describing Demoris Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, in a 2011 email.

When Gruden was an analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast, he served as a brand ambassador for several companies and frequently appeared in commercials and advertising campaigns for those brands. Gruden, however, came out of retirement in 2018 to coach the Raiders and later stopped participating as a brand ambassador for several companies he had a previous relationship with. Both Bridgestone Tires and Corona Extra Bear, which featured Gruden in a series of advertising campaigns in mid-2010, when he was a TV analyst, stated that he had no current relationship with Gruden and was last seen in the 2017 season. had worked with him during his career, his last before returning to coaching.

A spokeswoman for Corona’s parent company, Constellation Brands, emailed Granthshala Sports on Tuesday, “the sentiments expressed are not in line with our company’s values.”

Gruden has previously appeared in advertising campaigns for GoPro, Nationwide, Dunkin’, GMC and Hooters, none of which returned messages or voicemails left by USA Today Sports, including any of those companies with Gruden. Asked about a possible relationship.

Gruden last appeared in any of the advertising campaigns of the above companies before coming out of retirement and returning to coaching.

Contributions: Tom Shadd and Mike Jones

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