Retired professional player Andre Rison defends former coach Jon Gruden after offensive emails: “We all made mistakes”
Highlights of the article:
- Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Rison defended former head coach Jon Gruden amid email scandal
- Gruden resigned as Raiders head coach on October 11
- Rison is the latest ex-NFL player to weigh in on the situation
Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s email scandal drew mixed reactions from his former players and colleagues. Andre Rison knows where he is.
Although he is best known for his time with the Atlanta Falcons, Rison spent a season with Gruden on the then Oakland Raiders in 2000. The five-time Pro Bowler recently made it clear that he had the back of his former head coach.
Andre Rison defended Jon Gruden amid the latter’s email scandal
There is no defense against the offensive emails Gruden sent from 2011 to 2018 while working at ESPN. We cannot excuse the comments, which ranged from homophobia to racist.
Rison, an All-Pro receiver in his prime, is not going to dispute the facts. However, he recently told TMZ that Gruden was definitely “not a racist”.
“We all say things behind closed doors that we regret, or that we wouldn’t say in public. We’ve all made mistakes. I believe who he said and what he said and who he addressed it to, it was intended for that person and no one else.
Gruden sent most of the emails in question to former Washington football boss Bruce Allen.
Rison, who is black, told TMZ he believes Gruden should “go on” for the rest of his life, even if that means never coaching in football again.
“You have already given this game the best leadership and leadership you can give,” he said.
Current and former NFL players have had varying reactions to Gruden’s situation
Rison took risks for his former head coach. Keyshawn Johnson, who played for Gruden in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the early 2000s, took a much different approach.
Johnson, who now works for ESPN, recently called the Super Bowl 37 champion a “fraud” and a “used car salesman.” Emmanuel Acho of Fox Sports, a former linebacker, referred to Gruden as a “race-insensitive homophobic pervert” in an NSFW tweet.
Conversely, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy, both black, each cited forgiveness when discussing the scandal. Dungy, whom Gruden replaced at Tampa Bay, was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s.
Although Raiders tight end Darren Waller believes Gruden’s comments are “inexcusable,” he hasn’t closed the door on his former coach.
“I want to offer grace to someone and allow them to learn from what they’ve been able to do, and that’s what I’m trying to do for Coach right now,” Waller said Oct. 13. .
Gruden is about to have bigger problems than emails
Gruden can’t do anything about his emails at this point. He sent them out over a period of several years and resigned once they emerged. Rison feels one meaning, Johnson feels another, and many more are either on one side or somewhere in the middle.
The spinoffs could, however, become interesting. According to NFL Media, Gruden never reached a deal with the Raiders and still owes him around $ 40 million over the remainder of the deal. Things won’t be as simple as Raiders owner Mark Davis writing Gruden a check to, in essence, walk away.
If Gruden claims the money, and it is his right, the situation could eventually escalate in court. At the time of publication, neither he nor the Raiders had announced what the next step would be in a possible contract dispute.
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