John Grayden has reiterated that he is not racist after losing his first game since the Las Vegas Raiders revealed racial slurs in 2011 about players’ union leader De Morris Smith.
Asked about decades-old emails following the Chicago Bears’ 20-9 loss to the Raiders, Groden apologized for his “insensitive comments.” A Wall Street Journal story noted last week that Groden, then working for ESPN, racially referred to Smith’s facial features in an email.
“I’m not racist,” Groden said. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith, but I love who I am and I have lived my whole life. I have no racial intentions with these remarks.” I am not like that at all. I am sorry. I do not want to address this.
Groden ended his news conference after a series of emails and questions about his behavior. He said he has not been contacted by the NFL about the comment, but “we will see what happens here in the next few days.”
“I won’t answer all of those questions today,” Groden said. “I think I’ve already addressed that.” I don’t remember many things that happened 10 or 12 years ago, but I apologize in front of everyone here. I know I don’t have an ounce of racism. I am a boy who takes pride in taking people along, and I will do so for the rest of my life.
Riders quarterback Derek Carr said he was one of many players who were “shocked” by Groden’s comments a decade ago. Carr said Groden solved the problem and presented his side of the story at a team meeting the morning before the story broke.
“He was honest,” Carr said. He was up front with her, and we as a team were like, ‘Yeah, coach, that was 10 years ago. We love you man We’ve got your back. “He told us, ‘Man, learn from my mistake.’ I don’t want to talk to him in detail about what he told us, but when we left the meeting, we didn’t take it as it came out.
Carr and his colleagues rejected the notion that Groden’s controversy affected his game against the Bears. Las Vegas committed 10 penalties for 82 yards and did not touch down until the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with (Gordon),” Josh Jacobs said of the performance. “I’ve been around this guy for three years. I’ve never made a specific guess about him. You know what I’m saying? He never rubbed me in any particular way, like this. Kind of method. He said what he said; but I definitely trust him. And I mean, it was 10 years ago. People are growing. ”
The leader of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a watchdog group that is a champion of diversity in the NFL, says Gruden’s comments about Smith indicate racism in all professional sports. Rod Graves, the alliance’s executive director, also hinted at discipline for Groden.
“John Groden’s frivolous remarks about De Morris Smith point to racism that exists on many levels of professional sports,” said Graves, the alliance’s executive director, in a statement. In addition, it reveals that the journey for African Americans and other minorities in sports is fraught with irreversible mentality at a high level.
“We hope that the ownership of the league and the team will address this treatment with these painful words. This is another inspiring point in society where there is social blindness, disrespect for the intellectual capacity and leadership of minorities.” When will it end? ”
The league is looking into the matter, and two people familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press that disciplinary action is possible for Groden, although one said the suspension was suspicious. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because details of any league investigation have not been made public.
After arriving on the field at Elegant Stadium on Sunday, Groden received a slightly clearer response from the crowd of raiders, but Groden’s mastermind of the offense managed just 259 yards against Chicago’s defense. The Raiders have lost two straight after a 3-0 start, their best performance since Groden’s return to the franchise in 2018.
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Groden’s comments came in an email to Bruce Allen, then president of the Washington football team, during a 2011 NFL lockdown. Groden told the newspaper that he was angry about the lockdown during the labor talks and did not trust the direction he was taking towards the union. He also apologized for the comments, according to the magazine.
“Dumboris Smith’s lips are the size of Michelin’s tires,” Groden wrote in a revised email from the newspaper.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement Friday that Groden’s email did not reflect the team’s standards.
“The content of an e-mail from De Morris Smith about John Gordon working for ESPN 10 years ago is troubling, not about the raiders,” Davis said. “We were first informed of the e-mail by a reporter late yesterday and are reviewing it with other material provided to us today by the NFL. We have resolved this issue with Coach Groden. And will not comment further at this time.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Friday that during a review of e-mails about workplace mismanagement at the Washington football team, “the league was informed of the existence of the e-mails that led to the investigation.” Raise issues beyond the scope. ”
He added: “The e-mail from John Groden condemning Demour Smith is horrific, hateful and completely against NFL values. We condemn this statement and regret any loss.” Its publication could reach Mr. Smith or anyone else.