Jon Gruden legacy now tarnished by racist emails, former Buccaneers player says


TAMPA (WFLA) – Jon Gruden coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002 through 2008. He was known as a firey personality who put in incredibly long hours to coach his teams. Gruden was also well known for his antics and screaming on the sidelines.

He’s now resigned from his head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after offensive emails were leaked. The emails were written over a period of years, from 2010 through 2018 as a member of ESPN. The emails became part of an investigation into the Washington Football Team and their own problems with allegations of sexual harassment.

According to the New York Times, the emails contained racist and homophobic statements.

After his resignation, Gruden issued a statement saying in part; “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

Ian Beckles played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and even played on the Philadelphia Eagles when Gruden was the offensive coordinator there.

Beckles is now a radio host for 620 WDAE and has worked with Gruden professionally in that capacity and has made no secret of the fact he’s not a fan of Gruden as a person.

“I’m not a big fan of Jon Gruden’s character, I’m not shocked that he’s in trouble, but I am shocked he was that ignorant to make those statements,” said Beckles who says there is no question the statements Gruden made in his email are racist.

He says Gruden’s future as an NFL coach is now over.

” You know Jon Gruden has to stand in front of 50 black men and tell them that’s not racist. As a black man, that’s a racist statement and it’s not up for debate,” said Beckles. “The unfortunate thing is, this is going to be his legacy forever, from now on and in a funny way, I feel bad for him.”

Jon Gruden’s name is part of the “ring of honor” at Raymond James Stadium and despite his statements, Beckles does not believe his name should be erased from the stadium.

“I still think O.J. Simpson deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Should he be in the ring of honor? Yes, I do believe that. We’re putting him up there for what he accomplished. You know, you can’t take away the Super Bowl ring, you can’t take away the Super Bowl,” said Beckles.

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