GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- On Monday night, October 11, Jon Gruden resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders amid controversy. Emails that were reportedly written by Gruden were released in which racist and homophobic statements were made. The Super Bowl-winning coach told reporters, “I am not a racist” and has apologized.
Harry Sydney, a former NFL player and coach was with the San Francisco 49ers when Gruden was also associated with the team. The reconnected with the Packers organization years later. “What surprises me about this is Jon was always smart enough to know he had to make some adjustments. Sometimes when you get into a certain place in your life, you don’t think the adjustments mean you have to do them,” said Sydney.
According to the Associate Press, a person familiar with the decision said Gruden is stepping down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL. The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team but ended up costing Gruden his job.
Sydney says that incidents like this are no longer tolerated and people will eventually speak out. “The unfortunate thing about it is, you can’t hide anymore. Someone else had to leak those emails, which is sad,” said Sydney. He also hopes that Gruden rebuilds his life and realizes he could have went about things differently.
UW-Green Bay’s Pride Center was contacted for comment. They released the following statement to Local 5. “UW-Green Bay is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. This commitment is focused on creating a welcoming environment that recognizes and celebrates the contributions of a diverse society. Actions and/or comments that disregard the respect and appreciation of the diversity and uniqueness that each person brings to our communities are unacceptable!”-Dr. Corey A. King, Vice Chancellor