TAMPA (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers say former head coach Jon Gruden’s name will be removed from their “Ring of Honor.”
Gruden resigned as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after it was revealed he’d sent racist, sexist and homophobic emails to former Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen.
The emails were discovered during an NFL investigation into Allen and the team.
The team released a statement Tuesday evening on the announcement.
“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.”
Roy Cummings worked as the beat writer for the Tampa Tribune for many years and covered Gruden on the field and was with him at many off the field functions. He’s not surprised by the content of Gruden’s emails,
“I’d like to say I knew him as a man, but what I knew I didn’t like,” said Cummings.
As a coach, Cummings says Gruden was fun to cover.
“He was different. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, wasn’t afraid to say things that other coaches might not say. But as a man if Jon Gruden said he had your back, you better watch your back. I’m sure there is player after player after player that would come to you and say he stabbed me in the back,” Cummings said.
After the content of the emails was revealed, Cummings believes the Raiders and the Buccaneers had to act.
“You can’t have him up in your ring of honor. That ring of honor, the last word in that is honor. There is no honor in what Jon Gruden has done here,” Cummings said.