Cancel Culture gets Raiders coach Jon Gruden for thinking mean thoughts
LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2021 — The 8th day of October was supposed to be a celebration for the Raider Nation. The 10th anniversary of the death of owner and coach Al Davis was supposed to fire up the Silver and Black fans around the world. Instead, the NFL and the Raiders were rocked by the news that coach Jon Gruden said mean things in illegally leaked private emails. (Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigns after more vulgar emails emerge)
Gruden admitted to referring to NFL Players Association President DeMaurice Smith as having very big lips.
While this could be a racist trope, Gruden insisted that he was just venting anger about the NFL lockout. He attacked the head union guy and the head management guy. The pearl clutches clutched their pearls. Had this been an isolated incident, Gruden may have survived.
Yet on Monday, it was reported that Gruden had sent other emails between 2011 and 2017 that contained sexist and homophobic language.
Gruden offered his resignation Monday night, and team owner Mark Davis accepted it.
The general consensus was that Gruden was an affront to humanity who needed to be burnt at the stake. Now for a reality check.
Gruden’s comments were offensive but not illegal. He broke no laws. He was not even guilty of violating any NFL rules. At the time he sent his offensive emails, he was an analyst with ESPN.
So what if Gruden’s comments were offensive?
They were said in private emails that were illegally leaked.
They were discovered as part of an NFL investigation in which Gruden was never a target. The purpose of that investigation was to find out why the Washington Football Team, at the time known as the Redskins, had engaged in hostile work practices.
Multiple female employees came forward to talk about the unprofessional conduct taking place by the currently unnamed Washington team. Nobody was fired for that conduct.
As for Gruden, he has never in his decades of coaching been accused of inappropriate conduct.
He has coached hundreds of players over the years. He has worked with plenty of coaches. At ESPN he had many colleagues. Not one of them had a grievance with him.
On Sunday, Gruden was defended by his former partner, analyst Mike Tirico. He was defended by his former player Tim Brown and current player Josh Jacobs. These three men are all black. If Gruden had racist attitudes, he was terrible at letting it bleed over into the professional work environment.
Carl Nassib is gay, and Gruden treated him no differently than any other player in the Raiders locker room.
So Gruden is out as coach after thinking bad things while no target of the original investigation was held accountable for actually doing bad things.
Gruden is the perfect villain for the cancel culture mob.
He criticized Barack Obama and Joe Biden in his emails, an unforgivable sin. Gruden did not get innocent Americans killed in Afghanistan or anywhere else. He certainly did not drone innocent Afghani civilians and lie about it.
If thinking racist thoughts are worse than getting people killed, the world is upside down. Nobody is the Biden administration resigned in disgrace because getting people murdered is apparently less serious than thinking racist thoughts.
Gruden did use a homophobic slur directed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Goodell is one of the most hated men in the history of sports management. 90% of the players have probably said worse about Goodell.
Gruden also detested the players kneeling during the National Anthem. He was totally right to criticize an act that has poisoned football by injecting politics into what should be a unifying game. Plenty of Americans objected to kneeling. The same owners who will condemn Gruden’s comments were happy to let Colin Kaepernick stay fired. Gruden’s comments about kneeling are what most of the owners believe but are too gutless to admit.
Even if Gruden’s comments were awful, were they unique? The issue is not that Gruden’s comments were acceptable. It is that they were private thoughts. In the alpha male world that is the NFL, how many other players and owners have privately said things as bad as or worse than Gruden’s grouchy utterances?
Jon Gruden is a good football coach.
In his first stint with the Raiders, he took them from worst to first in the AFC West. Coaching the 2002 Buccaneers, he built a team that would defeat the Raiders in the Super Bowl. More recently, he had the current Raiders moving in the right direction.
He steered the team through the twin turmoils of moving from Oakland to Las Vegas and navigating Covid.
Gruden has dedicated his life to football. He eats, sleeps, and breathes football. The definition of Gruden’s life is not the use of private offensive language. Spoken in anger, in jest, locker room talk does not matter. Gruden’s private thoughts never became inappropriate conduct.
For those who truly believe Gruden had to go, then at least allow for consistency. Every person advocating for Gruden’s removal must immediately turn over every laptop and computer hard drive that they own. They must produce every email they have ever sent and received. If even one inappropriate email surfaces, that person must resign from their job. They must also find themselves from being able to seek employment in their chosen profession.
Let the witch hunts begin.
Mandate all 32 NFL owners and head coaches take a polygraph test to determine if they have a Gruden problem of making insensitive comments. Then do likewise with every player from the team leaders on down to the practice squad guys. Investigate every sportswriter, sideline reporter, color commentator, play-by-play analyst, and employee in the Commissioner’s office.
Then target the fans. Revoke the season tickets of any fan who sad a bad word at a game.
Then let everybody just target everybody else. We can all narc on each other until we have all been devoured.
Gruden said mean hurtful words. His punishment is the career equivalent of the death penalty.
A great coach made a terrible decision to put his private thoughts into emails.
Despite those rude thoughts never affecting his job performance and public interpersonal relationships, he was driven out of the football world he loves. However, those forcing him out have equally unclean houses. He was sacrificed for nothing.
Just remember, the government has access to every single American’s emails. Nothing is ever deleted. You very well could be next. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
About the Author:
Brooklyn-born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist, and comedian. But he lives for football. Particularly the Raiders.