TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be removing Jon Gruden’s name from the team’s ring of honor following misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL, according to emails reviewed by The New York Times.
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.”
Eagle 8 HD flew over Raymond James Stadium Tuesday and you could still see the coach’s name late afternoon.
The NFL obtained the emails that Gruden sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team, in a separate investigation of workplace misconduct regarding that franchise.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Gruden used a racist comment to describe NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith. Now, the latest emails reported by the Times showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ian Beckles played for Gruden when Gruden was the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Beckles says he’s not a fan of removing the coach from the ring of honor.
“I still think O.J. Simpson deserves to be in the NFL hall of fame,” Beckles said. “Should he be in the ring of honor? Yes, I do believe that. We’re putting him up there for what he accomplished. You can’t take away the Super Bowl ring, you can’t take away the Super Bowl.”
Reaction, however, is mixed, as many fans believe this was the right decision by the Bucs.
“I think the Bucs took the right stance and the league doesn’t have any room for that, none of us do,” Bucs fan Alex Cassidy said. “It’s bad, I think he deserves what he got.”