On Tuesday, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press that “based on the evidence that we have reviewed, we haven’t discovered anything that needs to be reported to club or league leadership.” “During this process, we have not published any emails.”
In written interactions with former Washington executive Bruce Allen from 2011 through 2018, Gruden used racist, sexist, and homophobic rhetoric intended at union leader DeMaurice Smith, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and others in the NFL, according to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
The emails were collected as part of a Washington Football Team investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and other workplace misbehavior made by former workers. The NFL penalized the billion-dollar team $10 million, and owner Dan Snyder stepped aside from day-to-day operations for many months, but there was no documented report of lawyer Beth Wilkinson’s investigation.
On Tuesday, lawyers representing 40 former club workers requested the NFL to reveal the investigation’s entire conclusions as soon as possible. They termed it “outrageous” that after a 10-month investigation, only Gruden has been “held responsible.”
Gruden, who had a 10-year, $100 million deal with the Raiders, stepped down on Monday night after a generally dismal four-year stint that included a 22-31 record and no playoff appearances.
The repercussions intensified on Tuesday, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team he led to a Super Bowl championship nearly two decades ago, withdrew him off Raymond James Stadium’s Ring of Honor.
The Buccaneers issued a one-paragraph statement saying, “For many years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have campaigned for the deliberate change in the areas of racial relations, gender equality, diversity, and inclusion.” “While we appreciate Jon Gruden’s achievements on the field, his actions as an organization run against our basic beliefs.”
Others in and around the sport questioned if there were any additional consequences on the horizon.
Most of the time, there were inquiries.
What did Allen say to Gruden in his letter? When called by The Associated Press on Tuesday, Allen hung up.
Are there any additional emails involving current or past coaches or front-office personnel that might come to light? What, if any, disciplinary actions would the NFL take after watching the Gruden situation unfold?
And, perhaps most significantly, how widespread and persistent are Gruden’s views and ideas around the league?
This event, according to the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a monitoring group that promotes diversity in the NFL, serves as a reminder that the recruiting process should result in people who reflect a diverse range of perspectives.
“Head coaches who privately — or blatantly — share Gruden’s small-mindedness have no place in the Alliance,” said Rod Graves, the Alliance’s executive director. “When it comes to leadership roles, we advocate thorough due diligence and benchmarking best practices at all levels.” It is critical that all candidates uphold principles that are in line with their duties.”
The Players Coalition did not respond to a request for comment.