St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson reports that Gruden has reached out to Cunningham since his resignation.
“I tell him, I said, ‘Hey, I know you as a person. I don’t believe you’re a racist in any faction of the game,'” Cunningham, who is black, said in a phone interview. “If anybody pulled up our records, we would all be guilty. So, I don’t condemn him nor do we as a church condemn him. He’s a faithful person, and I love that about him. And he cares about people, so it’s kind of just what it is.”
Gruden said in a text message he thought highly of Cunningham, the article states.
“I’ve attended his church since I’ve been here,” Gruden said. “He’s the best.”
Gruden’s resignation came after a report in the Wall Street Journal in which Gruden had sent an email containing comments regarding NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith, who is black, as having lips the size of “Michelin tires.”
Gruden also belittled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with a vulgar description in one of several emails provided by the league to the Las Vegas Raiders. The emails were just some of the 650,000 the NFL looked at during an investigation of the Washington Football Team for workplace misconduct and were written when Gruden was ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst, not an NFL employee.
Cunningham became an ordained minister in 2003 and opened his church in 2006, St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. He said as a pastor he is “always looking for righteousness.”
He made note of a Bible verse, and said regarding Gruden, “We’re all forgiven and we can mature in Christ.”
He added: “I told Jon, I said, ‘If my responsibility is to be here and to be a brother to you, I accept that responsibility.’ … I pray for him and his family and I love him. He’s my brother. And that isn’t going to change,” per St. Paul Pioneer Press.
While the total payout is not known, it seems as if Gruden and team owner Mark Davis reached an agreement after discussing the remaining figures in his deal, which included $40 million guaranteed.
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