Jon Gruden withdrawn from Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor after resigning

Gruden resigned after reports emerged that he used homophobic, racist and misogynistic language in emails while working as an ESPN analyst.

He led the Buccaneers to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in the 2002 season, beating the then Oakland Raiders, but has now been removed from the team’s circle of honor.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for decisive change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team said in a statement.

“While we recognize Jon Gruden’s contributions on the ground, his actions run counter to our core values ​​as an organization. As a result, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”

Gruden speaks at a press conference.

Critics had demanded that Gruden, who has coached the Raiders since the start of the 2018 season, be fired since the Wall Street Journal reported he used race-insensitive language to describe the executive director of the NFL Players Association. (NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email.

The New York Times reported on Monday that it looked at more emails and found that Gruden had denounced women employed as field officials, a team drafting an openly gay player, and tolerance for national anthem protesters.

The Times said the emails were sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington football team, over a span of seven years, leading many to wonder why he was. allowed to stay in his role for so long. Allen was fired from the organization in December 2019.

On Friday, an NFL spokesperson said the email reported in the Wall Street Journal was discovered as part of an NFL review of malpractice on the Washington football team. which took place this summer.

CNN has again reached out to Gruden, the NFL and the Raiders for comment.

An NFLPA spokesperson told CNN that the union plans to ask the NFL to release the full findings of the investigation into professional misconduct in the Washington football team.

Smith told USA Today that there is “potential for good” to come from this situation.

“It took a long time for the league to recognize that it had not listened to players and addressed their concerns about why players were kneeling or why players were actively engaging in justice issues social, ”he said.

“Perhaps there is the potential here to recognize that there are people in our system who engage or support ideas that we know are incompatible with fairness, justice and equality, and may – being that if we can embrace this faster, then it gives us the opportunity to understand and resolve what I believe are systemic issues in diverse hiring in the league. “

Smith speaks at a press conference ahead of Super Bowl 55.

‘This shit don’t fly’

Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers weighed in on Gruden’s resignation, saying: “These opinions have no place in the game.”

“It was surprising how fast things were going, but I think it was probably the best decision for all parties involved,” he told The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday.

“Hopefully we can all as a league learn and grow from this. Hope this warns people who have some of those opinions. Like, ‘Hey man, it’s time to grow and evolve and change and to connect. “That shit don’t fly.”

NFL reporter Ian Rapoport told CNN on Tuesday that Gruden had no choice but to step down as head coach, saying he had lost his credibility in the Raiders’ locker room, especially more than Carl Nassib – who became the first active NFL player in league history to announce he’s gay earlier this year – is playing for the team.
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Rodgers on the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And Green Bay Packers quarterback Rodgers believes the opinions expressed in Gruden’s emails are not those felt in the league locker room.

“I can say with real honesty and pride that I don’t feel like these are opinions shared by the players,” said the 37-year-old.

“I feel like in the locker room it’s a tight-knit group of guys, and we don’t treat people differently based on how they talk, where they’re from, what they are. do, what they look like, and I’m proud of it. “

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