Former Raiders player and coach Art Shell reacts to emails from Jon Gruden
Posted On October 13, 2021
Professional Football Hall of Fame member Art Shell, who has been part of the Raiders franchise for decades as a former player and coach, spoke of the damning emails sent by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
“It’s disappointing that someone is in a position to do this,” Shell told The Athletic’s Tashan Reed in reaction to Gruden’s emails. “He hurt a lot of people. He hurt himself too.”
Gruden, whose emails from 2011-2018 were found to contain homophobic, misogynistic and racist comments, resigned on Monday.
The emails were discovered by the league as part of an investigation involving the Washington football team and were reported by The New York Times, including the use of a homophobic slur used to describe the commissioner of the Roger Goodell league and denouncing the hiring of official women.
Wall Street Journal reporter Gruden used a racist trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
“I mean, I think everyone is shocked,” Shell continued. “I was in shock. I said what ? ” I could not believe it. And that is an unfortunate thing. But you have to live with the consequences of what you do. He’s going to pay the price. He has already paid for it. He will pay more. “
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OPINION: Jon Gruden’s emails aren’t just an NFL problem. They are symbolic of the white grievances of the company.
The Raiders were the first team in the modern NFL to hire a black head coach – Shell, in 1989 – and the first team to hire a woman as a CEO – Amy Trask in 1997. Carl Nassib, a winger Raiders defensive end also became the first active player in league history to go gay.
“It’s just an unfortunate thing that in today’s world these kinds of thoughts exist,” Shell said. “You would like to think the world would change. But for some it isn’t. And bring it out like that? Wow. It was just amazing to me.”