(Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jon Gruden Is In A Bit Of Hot Water

Jon Gruden has a lot on his plate right now: leading the Raiders to one of their best starts in recent memory, game planning for the Chicago Bears this weekend, but above those two things he has a sticky situation on his hands, to say the least.

Via Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, the NFL has found a July 2011 email written by Gruden that uses a racial trope regarding NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. (Trope- a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression.)

“Dumboriss [sic] Smith has lips the size of michellin [sic] tires,” Gruden wrote in the email, per the report.

Gruden denied any knowledge of typing that email and had this to say to follow.

Full quote via PFT via NBCSports.com:

“I’m really sorry,” Gruden said. “I was upset. I used a horrible way of explaining it. . . . I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar. I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years.”

This apparent disdain for Smith dates back to the Lockout and that Gruden did not like the direction the NFLPA was going. Gruden says that he has referred to liars as having “rubber lips” and that in this instance he may have gone a little too far.

“This is not the first racist comment that I’ve heard and it probably will not be the last.” Smith said in a statement issued to Beaton. “This is a thick skin job for someone with dark skin, just like it always has been for many people who look like me and work in corporate America. You know people are sometimes saying things behind your back that are racist just like you see people talk and write about you using thinly coded and racist language. . . .

“Racism like this comes from the fact that I’m at the same table as they are and they don’t think someone who looks like me belongs. I’m sorry my family has to see something like this but I would rather they know. I will not let it define me.”

The NFL was made aware of this email back during their investigation into the Washington Football Team. Gruden was in communication with then Washington CEO Bruce Allen while Gruden was working as a analyst for Monday Night Football.

“The email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values,” the NFL said in a statement issued to Beaton. “We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”

Will there be any further disciplinary action? That doesn’t seem like it is up to the NFL to decide. If it was, they would have already acted on it. This seems like an internal Las Vegas Raiders decision, and that will have to come from Raiders owner Mark Davis.

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