By CARLOS MARQUEZ III - Jon Gruden, former head football coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, has resigned from his position after an investigation revealed emails from 2011 that Gruden had used racist tropes, homophobic insults and criticized the rise of women filling positions as NFL Referees.
Gruden was four years into a 10-year contract in his second stint with the Raiders and was renowned as one of the best characters in the NFL, whether it be pacing the sidelines as a coach or stepping into the broadcast booth on Monday Night Football.
Courtesy Sports Illustrated.com
Gruden had a great reputation in the league and was well respected. According to NFL.com he became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl in 2002 so when the investigation discovered that Gruden had used derogatory terms to describe the people and actions he disagreed with, the NFL world was shook. Gruden publicly apologized for the language he used and stated that he ‘never meant to hurt anybody’.
However, Gruden and Raiders Owner Mark Davis agreed that he should resign from the organization. There was some discussion about whether Gruden should be punished for something he had done when he was not employed by the NFL or be punished for something that he had done 10 years ago but as the investigation continued it was only right that Gruden should resign.
I believe it was right for Gruden to resign because the emails are an example of discrimination practices that I believe are still happening in the NFL beneath the media's radar and there is no place for this type of practice or belief in the NFL. The league has stepped into a new direction as of late as they committed $250 million to a social justice program that would combat systemic racism. According to a report on NFL.com, Commissioner Roger Goodell said it was something that would bring about ‘a much-needed change’.
The NFL has several programs supporting various causes and movements such as Black Lives Matter, the welcoming of openly gay players into NFL locker rooms and the NFL’s Women's Careers in Football Forum.
It is because of efforts like these that such a beloved member of the NFL needed to be asked to resign or be removed from his position. The NFL has proceeded in an entirely new direction and it would not make sense to continue endorsing Gruden.
Gruden is out and he should be out because as much as it was his responsibility to perform and coach at a high level it was also his responsibility to educate himself and above all else to be a professional.