Julian Edelman joined the chorus of NFL voices denouncing Jon Gruden’s racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails.
The former New England Patriots wide receiver shared his thoughts on the offensive messages that led to Gruden’s resignation during the latest episode of Paramount+’s “Inside the NFL.”
“You know what? We’re trying to gain inclusivity in our league,” Edelman said, as transcribed by Boston.com. “We’ve been trying it with every form of background, sexuality, women — we have women coaches now, referees. And when you have a leader and one of the biggest faces in our league have stuff like this come out, I mean, was I surprised (that Gruden lost his job)?
“I wasn’t surprised because 70 percent of our team, our guys, are Black men. And when you have your head coach, the guy who’s supposed to set the example — and I’m not a cancel guy. I’m not a cancel culture guy. I’m all about the conversation. But if it keeps on coming out that there’s more and more and more, I think it’s just not acceptable.”
Gruden resigned Monday as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after excerpts from his emails to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen were published in The New York Times. In those messages, many of which were sent while Gruden was working as a “Monday Night Football” commentator for ESPN, the longtime coach used derogatory language directed at NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and others.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom Gruden coached to a Super Bowl title in 2002, announced Wednesday they were removing his name from their Ring of Honor.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia will serve as the Raiders’ interim head coach.