The Bucs have removed Jon Gruden from their Ring Of Honor following recent news of the racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails sent by Gruden while working as a broadcaster for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Here is the full statement from the Bucs about Gruden’s Ring Of Honor removal:
“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 New York Times broke a story revealing emails from Gruden sent to then Washington Football Team general manager Bruce Allen. In the emails, Gruden used racist tropes to voice his frustration about NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, who is black.
Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Further emails were leaked to the public, which included Gruden using homophobic slurs to criticize NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former NFL player Michael Sam, who came out as gay before the 2014 NFL Draft. Others included his stance against having females officials and also opposing the NFL’s concussion protocol policies. All of these emails by Gruden to Allen were cited as part of an NFL investigation into misconducts in the workplace of the Washington Football Team.
Gruden resigned from his head coaching position with the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night. One of his players, former Buccaneer Carl Nassib, announced before the start of the season that he was gay. Nassib became the first openly gay player on an active NFL roster.
Gruden’s emails were sent when he was a color commentator on Monday Night Football, over a span of seven years. Gruden has ties to the history of the Bucs as the head coach of their Super Bowl XXXVII winning team, the first in franchise history.