On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden will be removed from their Ring of Honor following his resignation after the discovery of past emails sent by Gruden that included gay slurs and racially insensitive messages.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team statement read. “While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
Gruden won a Super Bowl as the head coach of the Buccaneers in 2002, and was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2017.
As could be expected, the Buccaneers’ move was simply the first domino to fall.
On Wednesday, EA Sports announced they will be removing Gruden from their Madden NFL 22 video game.
“EA Sports is committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity. Due to the circumstances of Jon Gruden’s resignation, we are taking steps to remove him from Madden NFL 22. We will replace him with a generic likeness via a title update in the coming weeks.”
— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) October 13, 2021
Madden NFL 22 was first released August 20, 2021.
In September 2020, EA Sports announced that Madden NFL 21 would allow gamers to use former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who hasn’t played in the league since the 2016 season — in the game’s franchise mode.
“Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EASPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game. We’ve had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL and works for past soundtrack mistakes,” the announcement began.
“Knowing that our EA SPORTS experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football,” it continued. “We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the existence of an email that Gruden sent to Bruce Allen — then the president of the Washington Redskins — in 2011 regarding executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith.
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” Gruden wrote, according to WSJ.
Gruden, who was working as an analyst for Monday Night Football at the time of the email, said that he was upset at the time as he didn’t like how the players were going about their negotiations as a lockout threatened to impact the NFL season.
“I was upset,” Gruden said. “I used a horrible way of explaining it.”
“I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar,” Gruden said. “I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years.”
Then, on Monday, The New York Times published a report detailing emails from Gruden to Allen and others in which Gruden used gay slurs, negatively discussed female referees in the NFL and homosexual players being drafted, and called for a player who knelt during the national anthem to lose his job.
The emails were discovered during the NFL’s investigation of workplace misconduct inside the Washington Football Team organization.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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