The NFL is monitoring the Jon Gruden scandal from the weekend but is “waiting to see” how the Las Vegas Raiders handle the situation involving its head coach, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
On Friday The Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden referred to NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith in a racist way over email 10 years ago while he was an employee of ESPN.
In a statement released Friday, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the email was discovered during an investigation into workplace misconduct allegations made against the Washington Football Team. Gruden sent the email to then-Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen during the 2011 lockout and, McCarthy added, multiple emails were flagged by the NFL to the Raiders for review.
“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values,” Brian McCarthy said Friday. “We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”
After the Raiders’ loss to the Bears on Sunday, Gruden apologized for the “insensitive remarks.”
“All I can say is that I’m not a racist,” Gruden said. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. I apologize for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all. But… yes, they can… I’m not like that at all. I apologize but I don’t want to keep addressing it.”
The Raiders visit the Broncos in Week 6.