Jon Gruden says report omitted his vulgar description of Roger Goodell
Jon Gruden has apologized for the remark he made about DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email, but the Las Vegas Raiders head coach says he also had harsh criticism of other NFL executives and team owners at the time.
Gruden told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Friday night that he was “in a bad frame of mind” when he made the comment about Smith. He says his emails were about the 2011 labor disagreement that led to a lockout and that one of them included a vulgar description of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I was in a bad frame of mind at the time (in 2011) and I called Roger Goodell a (expletive) in one of these emails, too,” Gruden said. “They were keeping players and coaches from doing what they love with a lockout.”
Gruden, who was with ESPN at the time, said he was also unhappy over some player safety issues.
“I was on a mission with high school football (in the Tampa area) during that time and there were a lot of parents who were scared about letting their kids play football,” he told Mortensen. “It just didn’t sit well with me.”
It’s unclear how many emails were flagged, but Gruden estimates that it was somewhere from five to seven. The 58-year-old seemed to be making the point that he was not singling out Smith, though it’s unlikely his critics will care.
Gruden said in the email that Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, “has lips the size of michellin tires.” Many interpreted that as a racist remark, though Gruden provided another explanation for the description.