Last night, Jon Gruden saw his tenure as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach come to an end – because of comments he made 10 years ago.
The New York TimesPublished a report that exposed emails that contained comments in which Gruden used homophobic and possibly racist language to express his dissatisfaction at the NFL’s executives and coaches. One comment that was potentially seen as racist when he said that the Executive Director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, had “lips the size of Michelin tires.”
I will be very clear. Gruden shouldn’t have said these things. The report will show that Gruden did not use healthy language and make comments that are inappropriate for someone in authority.
Is he being fired for saying this seven years back? That’s absolutely absurd. It wasn’t like he was saying these things to the press after each game, completely losing his temper and lashing out irrationally.
The most frustrating part of situations like this is that the person that was accused of saying racist things isn’t given a second chance to better himself. It’s a one-strike policy, with the scary part being they could dig up your past to invent a strike that gets you out.
What’s worse, the NFL has an inconsistent and confusing standard for league personnel when they violate behavior policies.
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Richard Sherman plays cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and receives a weekly paycheck from the NFL. However, earlier this summer, he was arrested on the charge of burglary domestic violence after trying to forcibly gain entrance into his girlfriend’s parents’ house in Washington state.
Josh Gordon is a Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver who has been accused of being one of the worst drug policy offenders in the past decade. He had already been banned five times by NFL due to possession of illegal substances. He has been suspended five times by the NFL for illegal substances possession. However, he still has plenty of opportunities to play football.
What is the answer? What is the NFL’s logic? It is absurd to say something offensive or inappropriate 10 years ago and it would be considered a firing offense today. Because football is an extremely rough game that’s played by and coached mostly by people who are not professionals, you should have a basic understanding of how to communicate with your players.
The NFL should fire them for doing such things. Domestic offenders and substance addicts shouldn’t get any mercy. It’s that simple.