Henderson, Nev.--Moments after Jon Gruden left the Las Vegas Raiders media room on Friday, the Wall Street Journal published a story about him. The report contained allegations of a Gruden email from a decade ago.
Gruden sent the alleged email to Bruce Allen. At the time (July 2011), Allen served as the President of what is now known as the Washington Football Team.
The NFL and the NFLPA were in the midst of a contentious labor dispute at the time. In the email, the Wall Street Journal alleged that Gruden referred to the NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith by using a racial trope.
Per the report, the email from Gruden to Allen said, "Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin (sic) tires."
When speaking derogatory of black people, large lips have often been portrayed in negative comments or images. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is black.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Gruden, in response to that forthcoming article, said: "he had been angry at the time because of the lockout and didn't trust the direction the players, led by Smith, were going in the negotiations. He said he has in the past referred to people he believes to be lying as "rubber lips" and that he took it "too far."
The Las Vegas Raiders owner, Mark Davis, released the following statement:
"The content of an email regarding DeMaurice Smith from Jon Gruden when he worked for ESPN 10 years ago is disturbing and not what the Raiders stand for. We were first made aware of the email late yesterday by a reporter and are reviewing it along with other materials provided to us today by the NFL. We are addressing the matter with Coach Gruden and will have no further comment at this time." - Mark Davis
Gruden spoke to my colleague Vic Tafur from The Athletic and shared his side of the matter. To Tafur, Gruden shared that in the past, when he believed people were not being truthful to him, that he would describe them as having "Rubber lips,"
We will keep you updated as this story develops.
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