Individuals in and around the NFL faced a major reckoning on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned over offensive emails that contained misogynistic and homophobic language and sentiment.
The emails, discovered by the league during a recent investigation into the Washington Football Team, were uncovered by the New York Times, which reported the contents at 8 p.m. ET on Monday. 61 minutes later, news broke that Gruden and the Raiders had parted ways.
Executives, coaches, players and media members were stunned at the developments on Monday and that Gruden’s beliefs and behavior had gone unchecked for a seven-year period during which he was sending the emails. By Tuesday, many around the NFL had processed the events of the previous evening and spoke out against any similar actions.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers acknowledged the Gruden situation on The Pat McAfee Show Tuesday. The 2020 MVP, who isn’t known for being outspoken on such matters, got straight to the point in condemning the former head coach’s words.
“Those opinions don’t have a place in the game … that shit doesn’t fly,” Rodgers told McAfee, per The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman.
Aaron Rodgers on Jon Gruden via @PatMcAfeeShow: “Those opinions don’t have a place in the game … that shit doesn’t fly.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) October 12, 2021
Here’s Rodgers’ full conversation with McAfee on the latest Gruden controversy:
How do we go forward after these Jon Gruden emails??
“I can say with real honesty & pride that those opinions aren’t shared with players.. the locker room allows you to have incredible conversations & that’s the best way to grow, learn, change & better yourself” ~@AaronRodgers12 pic.twitter.com/NZk72hK79S
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 12, 2021
McAfee had already addressed Jon Gruden’s resignation earlier in his show on Tuesday.
“You can’t just plead ignorance, you can’t just say ‘I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.’ Because it’s very evident that if you’re willing to put it on record and type it down, you’re probably using it everyday…” McAfee said. “… I just think it’s an evolution. We’re always going to have hateful assholes. I hate that it’s gonna happen, but the reality is this is going to happen… As the years go on, hopefully we become and pioneer this road to a tolerant society of understanding. As we continue to do that, we’re going to learn about people that aren’t necessarily on the same ideals of the future. We can’t let them bring out the worst in everybody…”
The Gruden situation should be something that everyone at every level of the NFL can learn from. As both Rodgers and McAfee made clear, every person must do so if league hopes to eradicate such backward and hateful beliefs.
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