Raiders coach Jon Gruden: ‘I’m not a racist’

Raiders coach Jon Gruden apologized Sunday for a 2011 email, uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, in which he used a racist trope to describe NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith’s lips.

SHARE Raiders coach Jon Gruden: ‘I’m not a racist’
Jon Gruden coaches the Raiders against the Bears on Sunday.

Jon Gruden coaches the Raiders against the Bears on Sunday.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — Raiders coach Jon Gruden apologized Sunday for a 2011 email, uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, in which he used a racist trope to describe NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith’s lips.

“I’m not a racist,” Gruden said in a brief news conference after losing 20-9 to the Bears. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith. … I had no racial intention with those remarks at all. I’m not like that at all. I apologize. I don’t want to keep addressing it.”

Raiders players said Gruden met with the team before the story was published and told them about the emails, which also included Gruden — who wasn’t coaching then — ripping commissioner Roger Goodell during the lockout.

“I’ve been around this guy for three years now. … He’s never rubbed me a certain way, that type of way,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “I definitely trust him. It was 10 years ago. People grow.”

Quarterback Derek Carr said he and his teammates told Gruden they had his back.

“He told us, ‘Men, learn from my mistake,’ ” Carr said.

The controversy had nothing to do with the Raiders falling flat Sunday, Jacobs said.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve been coming out flat, starting early in the game,” he said.

Injuries

Starting right tackle Germain Ifedi hurt his knee in the second quarter and didn’t return. He was replaced by Elijah Wilkinson. The Bears like Wilkinson better on the right side than the left, but losing Ifedi would be a blow to a thin unit.

Second-round pick Teven Jenkins is on injured reserve after having back surgery. So is Larry Borom, who hurt his ankle in the opener. He’s eligible to return whenever healthy.

In the fourth quarter, the Bears ruled out outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu with a pectoral injury. Inside linebacker Caleb Johnson hurt his knee on kickoff coverage in the second quarter and didn’t return.

Loud crowd

Visiting Las Vegas for the first time to watch the team, Bears fans occupied maybe 40% of Allegiant Stadium.

“I’m not used to playing away games where you have a crowd that can rival the home crowd,” said tight end Jesper Horsted, who caught a second-quarter touchdown. “And especially for this game, they were making so much noise, which really disturbs the opposing offense. And you saw a lot of penalties that are caused solely because of that.”

Coach Matt Nagy talks often about Bears fans who travel en masse.

“But [Sunday] it felt … it was impactful,” he said.

‘BS’

Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith didn’t agree with the flag he received for unnecessary roughness after he hit receiver Willie Snead in the end zone on second-and-goal in the fourth quarter.

“I thought that was BS,” he said. “I was like, ‘Unnecessary?’ ... I’ll have to look back at it, but I don’t think I put my helmet in there. I think I put my shoulder in.’’

CST form logo
Halas Intrigue Bears Report

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

The Latest
Dodgers were leading Sox 2-0 in seventh inning.
Hoyer praised Crow-Armstrong for his contributions in the field and on the basepaths.
A teen sought in the shooting of Larry Neuman surrendered to police Sunday. Another suspect remains at large. ‘In a brazen and senseless act of violence, Larry’s life was taken from him by the very people he committed his life to helping,’ CPD Supt. Larry Snelling said.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall seemed affected by the hundreds of letters written by Burke’s supporters. “I have never in all my career seen the letters that I have received for Mr. Burke.”