Former NFL wide receiver Andre Rison spoke out against his former coach Jon Gruden, who was recently suspended for a year from ESPN after offensive emails were released. In an interview with TMZ Sports, the former Raider defended Gruden and said that he should be back on TV soon.
Jon Gruden has been the target of criticism and scorn after a trove of emails from his time as head coach at Tampa Bay were released to the public. Retired All-Pro Wideout Andre Rison defended him, saying We’ve all made mistakes.
Highlights of the article:
- In the wake of the email controversy, former Oakland Raiders receiver Rison, Andre supported former head coach Jon Gruden.
- On October 11, Gruden resigned as the Raiders’ head coach.
- Rison is the most recent ex-NFL player to provide his thoughts on the issue.
Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, has received mixed responses from his former players and coworkers as a result of his email controversy. Andre Rison is well aware of his position.
Rison spent a season with Gruden with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2000, but he’s better recognized for his time with the Atlanta Falcons. The five-time Pro Bowler has said emphatically that he supports his former head coach.
In the wake of Jon Gruden’s email controversy, Andre Rison supported him.
In a recent interview, retired All-Pro receiver Andre Rison supported his former head coach, Jon Gruden | MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images
There’s no justifying the inflammatory emails Gruden wrote while at ESPN from 2011 to 2018. The comments, which ranged from homophobic to racist, cannot be excused.
Rison, a former All-Pro receiver, isn’t going to argue with the facts. He recently told TMZ, though, that Gruden is “not a racist.”
“We all say things behind closed doors that we later regret or wouldn’t say in front of others. We’ve all made blunders. I think who he said, what he said, and who he meant it for were all directed at one individual and no one else.”
The majority of the emails in issue were written by Gruden to Bruce Allen, a former official with the Washington Redskins.
Rison, who is Black, told TMZ that he thinks Gruden should “move on” with his life, even if it meant never coaching in football again.
“You’ve already provided some of the finest guidance and leadership you could possibly provide to this game,” he added.
Current and past NFL players have had a variety of responses to the Gruden issue.
“I want to give someone grace and let them grow from their mistakes, and that’s what I’m trying to do for coach right now.”
He admitted that what he did was terrible, but wondered where the line should be drawn while attempting to assist others.
October 13, 2021 — Jesse Merrick (@JesseNews3LV)
Rison took a risk in support of his previous head coach. Keyshawn Johnson, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer who played under Gruden in the early 2000s, adopted a different approach.
Johnson, who now works for ESPN, recently referred to Super Bowl 37 winner Tom Brady as a “fraud” and “used car salesman.” In an NSFW tweet, Fox Sports’ Emmanuel Acho, a former linebacker, called Gruden a “homophobic racially insensitive pervert.”
When asked about the incident, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and ex-Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy, both of whom are Black, both mentioned forgiveness. In the 1970s, Dungy was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, before he was succeeded by Gruden in Tampa Bay.
Despite the fact that Raiders tight end Darren Waller thinks Gruden’s remarks are “inexcusable,” but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of working with him again.
On Oct. 13, Waller stated, “I want to give someone grace and enable them to learn from what they may have done, and that’s what I’m trying to do right now for Coach.”
Gruden is going to face issues that are much more serious than the emails.
At this point, Gruden is unable to stop his emails. He sent them over a period of years and then quit when they returned. Rison has one point of view, Johnson has another, and there are plenty of others who are either on one side or in the center.
However, the repercussions may be fascinating. According to NFL Media, Gruden and the Raiders never struck an agreement, and he is still due approximately $40 million for the remainder of the contract. It won’t be as easy as Raiders owner Mark Davis handing Gruden a cheque and telling him to “go away.”
If Gruden goes for the money, which he has the right to do, the issue may end up in court. Neither he nor the Raiders had indicated what the next move in a possible contract dispute would be as of publishing.
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