In the aftermath Jon Gruden’s resignation Monday evening following the revelation of multiple offensive emails, shock, contempt and sadness was expressed by notable NFL figures.
Not the least of which was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Speaking Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers expressed his beliefs that thinking akin to Gruden’s is not prevalent in the NFL, but was emphatic that that kind of mentality has no place within the league.
“I know that there’s opinions similar to that, but I feel they’re few and far between,” Rodgers said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee Show, via USA Today. “The player and the coach of today is a more empathetic, advanced, progressive, loving, connected type of person. I’m proud of the kind of locker room we have.
“We need to allow people to grow and change, but those opinions don’t have a place in the game.”
In his 17th season with the Packers, Rodgers is hoping that the Gruden fallout can lead to those in the NFL being better educated and bettering themselves when it comes to social equality.
“It was surprising to see that the thing went so quickly, but I think that was probably the best decision for all parties involved,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully we can all as a league learn and grow from this. Hopefully it puts people on notice who have some of those same opinions. Like, ‘Hey man, it’s time to grow and evolve and change and connect. That [expletive] doesn’t fly.'”
Gruden stepped down from his role as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday following articles in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times that exposed Gruden’s use of homophobic, misogynistic and racist language in emails which reportedly dated back to 2010.
The other franchise Gruden previously coached for, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, released a statement Tuesday in which it was announced Gruden would be removed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor. Gruden coached Tampa Bay from 2002-2008.
Current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was an assistant of Gruden’s for four seasons with the Buccaneers.
When addressing the media Tuesday, Tomlin’s prevailing expression was heartbreak at what was uncovered and has transpired concerning Gruden, who Tomlin has credited as helping him grow as a coach in the past.
“I’m just saddened by it,” Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m saddened for the Raiders organization. I’m saddened for the people who were offended by it. I’m saddened for coach Gruden. It’s a sad commentary. That’s the only opinion I care to share at this juncture.”
Tomlin is one of three Black head coaches in the NFL.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Shad Khan is one of two minority owners within the league.
Khan was in agreement with Gruden needing to resign following what was revealed in the emails.
“I think it was definitely the right thing for the coach to resign and I think it was the right thing for Mark Davis, the Raiders, to accept the resignation,” Khan told Sports Business Journal’s Ben Fischer on Tuesday. “But I do believe this is one of those times where you just don’t say, ‘OK, you know, it’s done, now let’s move on.’ This is one of those instances, even though it was 10 years ago, that it is, you know, it’s very offensive, it’s hurtful, you know, it’s something that needs to be reflected on, and, you know, by all of us. And you know, how do we make the situation better?”
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