Typically, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but unfortunately for
current former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, he hit send on that racist email everyone is talking about well before Raiders owner Mark Davis and his tenacious bowl cut came galloping along with a $100 million contract.
For those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, you really gotta start reading this publication that’s kind of a big deal called The Root:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Jon Gruden, head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, made a racist comment about NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith in an email he sent during the 2011 NFL lockout.
Gruden, who was working as an ESPN analyst at the time, sent the email to the Washington Football Team’s then-president Bruce Allen. Per the Journal, he wrote to Allen that “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires.”
In my 21 years (kiss my ass!) on this earth, I’ve seen a lot of Black people, but the only people I’ve ever seen who have lips the size of Michelin tires are on the opposite end of the color spectrum and their favorite pastime deviates between flailing their arms at Chingy concerts and snorting cocaine off of toilet seats.
When confronted about his favorite racist trope of choice, Gruden insisted that he was pissed at the time because the 2011 NFL lockout wasn’t going particularly well and he felt some kind of (racist) way about Smith, who was leading negotiations on behalf of the players.
“I was upset,” Gruden uttered from behind his white hood. “I used a horrible way of explaining it. 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 that for 58 years.”
You know what else he’s proven for 58 years? That unlike his cowardly colleagues, who eschew racist rhetoric in favor of imposing racist hiring policies, Gruden has never been afraid to say the quiet part loud—as evidenced by other emails throughout the years that have since surfaced, per the New York Times and The Athletic:
The Athletic obtained an email in which Gruden referenced Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, by the Rams in 2014, and said Goodell should not have pressured then-Rams head coach Jeff Fisher to draft “queers.”
In other emails, according to the Times, Gruden referred to Goodell on several occasions using homophobic slurs and expletives, and also called him a [”faggot” and] a “clueless anti football pussy”; denounced the emergence of women as referees; exchanged photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including a photo of two Washington team cheerleaders; and said Eric Reid, the former 49ers and Panthers safety who knelt during the national anthem, should be fired.
Boyyyyyyyyyyyyy, this motherfucker ain’t shit.
So with his back against the wall, Gruden was left with exactly one option and exactly one option only: On Monday night, he resigned from his cushy gig as the head coach of the
Los Angeles Oakland Las Vegas Raiders.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” he said in a statement. “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.”
He’s right, though. He didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Clearly, he meant to hurt everyone. The Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, Raiders fans, women, etc. Hell, the only people who don’t wanna punch a hole through his throat right now are all straight white men—which shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise considering they’re all preoccupied at the moment with defending his honor.
The fucked up part is in the grand scheme, Gruden stepping down from the Raiders doesn’t even mean shit. Because as white men in similar positions have proven over the course of hundreds of years, it’s only a matter of time before he gets snatched up for another gig as damage control, before his inevitable return to the spotlight.
It’s the American way.