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Gruden apologizes amid racism controversy

Bears Raiders Football
Posted at 6:15 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 18:28:40-04

Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden said there were no racist intentions in an email he sent 10 years ago.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Gruden used a racial trope when referring to NFL Players Association president DeMaurice Smith.

He reportedly described Smith, who is Black, as having "lips the size of michellin [sic] tires."

Gruden said he never had a racist thought when sending the email. He said he was frustrated with the league at the time.

"All I can say is I'm not a racist," Gruden said Sunday.

Players appear to be standing with Gruden.

"Us as a team, we're like, 'Yeah, Coach, it was 10 years ago. We love you, man. We got your back,'" Carr said, according to ESPN.

Despite Sunday's loss, the players seem ready to move on from the controversy.

"All the guys, we all kind of talked about how we felt about it and how [Gruden] treats the players. He's a players' coach. So, everybody was kind of like ... just overanalyzing it. I don't think it's going to affect it, because our guys, we're led by each other," ESPN quoted Raiders running back Josh Jacobs.

In addition to the team, Gruden said he's offered an apology to Smith.

"I can't tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith. But I feel good about who I am, what I've done my entire life. And I apologize for the insensitive remarks I had," Gruden said.