The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were led on the field by Gruden from 2002 to 2008, released a statement regarding their former head coach on Tuesday in the wake of a controversy surrounding old emails sent by Gruden while he was working for ESPN that contained anti-LGBT language, among other hateful sentiments. The uncovering of that correspondence led to his resignation from the Raiders on Monday and a league-wide reckoning on Tuesday.
The Buccaneers were the latest to react to the situation involving Gruden by announcing that the franchise’s former head coach will be removed from the organization’s Ring of Honor.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years. While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor,” the Bucs said in a statement, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Buccaneers weigh in on their former Super-Bowl winning head coach: pic.twitter.com/G9IuYm7iFS
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 12, 2021
Gruden was the first head coach ever to win a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers and won more games than any other head coach in franchise history. He posted a 57-55 regular season record in his seven years with team.
As the Buccaneers say in their statement, Gruden’s on-field accomplishments with the organization are impressive, but don’t outweigh the hateful and offensive language that he spewed to other in numerous emails over a seven-year period right after leaving Tampa Bay.
Many figures around the NFL have made clear that hateful words and actions like the ones displayed by Gruden have no place in the league, or anywhere for that matter. It’s unlikely that the Buccaneers will be the last ones to take a measure of this nature to try and combat such behavior in the future.
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