TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy clarified his stance on the Jon Gruden situation in a few tweets Tuesday.
The Hall of Fame coach had drawn criticism after sharing his thoughts about the Raiders’ coach’s conduct during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Gruden replaced Dungy as Buccaneers head coach in 2002.
“We heard Jon Gruden say he addressed this. He gave his side of it. He said that it wasn’t racial, that he was making a comment about DeMaurice Smith, and he basically attacked his character,” Dungy said during the broadcast, according to Larry Brown Sports. “I will accept that and just say that it was an immature way to do it.
“It wasn’t the right way to do it. But it was 10 years ago. And I’m not going to chalk everything up to racism,” Dungy added. “I think we accept his apology, move forward, and move on with his team.”
Gruden came under fire Friday after an email he sent a decade ago surfaced. In the email, Gruden used a racial trope to describe NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith. Gruden wrote “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
On Monday, the New York Times revealed excerpts from more emails, in which Gruden used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language. That evening, Gruden resigned.
“I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone,” Gruden said in a statement.
On Tuesday morning, Dungy took to Twitter to address criticism he received after the other emails surfaced.
“I commented on an email sent by Jon Gruden. I did not defend it,” Dungy wrote. “Now more emails have come. More inappropriate, immature, wrongful attacks on the character of people from all walks of life. I don’t defend those either and given the apparent pattern of behavior the Raiders did the appropriate thing in terminating Jon Gruden.”
“That being said, if Jon Gruden shows TRUE remorse—and more importantly changes his mindset and actions—I would forgive him,” Dungy added. ” As Christians that’s what the Bible commands us to do because that’s what God does for us. I know that’s not popular but it’s biblical.”