Raiders players speak out after Jon Gruden’s racist email unearthed
It doesn’t look like Jon Gruden is lacking support in his locker room after a 2011 email using racist language was unearthed last week.
After Gruden apologized this weekend for the email to then-Washington GM Bruce Smith – in which he said NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith “has lips the size of michellin tires” – several Raiders players spoke out in favor of the head coach.
“I’ve been around this guy for three years now; I’ve never felt a certain type of way about him,” Raiders running back Josh Jacobs said, per ESPN.
“He’s never rubbed me a certain way, that type of way. I mean, what he said is what he said at the end of the day too. But I mean, I definitely trust him. I mean, it was 10 years ago. People grow.”
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who is second in the NFL in passing yards, shared similar words of support.
“Us as a team, we’re like, ‘Yeah, Coach, it was 10 years ago. We love you, man. We got your back,'” Carr said. “We’re just trying to be there to support Coach. I know it’s a hard time for him. … He told us, ‘Men, learn from my mistake.’ When we left that meeting, we didn’t take it as how it came out.”
Raiders star pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue was asked how the black players on the Raiders were feeling, and said, “No comment on that.”
Gruden apologized this weekend, saying he hadn’t had any contact with the NFL yet in relation to the email.
“All I can say is 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, what I’ve done my entire life. And I apologize for the insensitive remarks I had. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all. … I’m not like that at all. But I apologize.
“I can’t remember a lot of the things that transpired 10 or 12 years ago, but I stand here in front of everybody apologizing. I don’t have an ounce of racism in me. I’m a guy that takes pride in leading people together. And I’ll continue to do that the rest of my life. And, again, I apologize to De Smith and anybody out there I have offended.”