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Friday’s report on emails sent by Raiders head coach Jon Gruden containing a “racially insensitive” remark directed at NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith — along with a vulgar dig at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — became the elephant in the room as Raiders head coach approached the podium to talk with the media following Sunday’s 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Per the reported details of the interview, via The Athletic, Gruden decided to openly discuss the headline-grabbing email — sent to Washington’s Bruce Allen — regarding Smith in the hopes of settling ongoing calls for Gruden to be disciplined. Gruden is getting scorched by the media after saying Smith has “lips the size of michellin tires” and calling him “Dumboriss Smith.”
“All I can say is I’m not a racist,” noted Gruden, a reverberated sentiment first voiced in the initial Wall Street Journal report. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to DeMaurice Smith. But I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. I apologize again for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all.
“I’m not going to answer all these questions today…I think I’ve addressed it already,” added Gruden. “I can’t remember a lot of the things that transpired 10 or 12 years ago. But I stand here in front of everybody apologizing. I know I don’t have an ounce of racism in me. I’m a guy who takes pride in leading people together and I’ll continue to do that for the rest of my life. And again, I apologize to De Smith and anybody out there that I have offended.”
The email message unearthed Friday rolled into Sunday morning’s coverage of the NFL, including an emotional response from former Raiders wideout Randy Moss.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela