The NFL’s Problems Are Bigger Than John Gruden’s

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It’s rare to find an open and closed affair like John Gruden’s in sports these days. Racism is often seen publicly in its systemic forms, due to the way things work. Sexism and homophobia are prevalent, but usually in subtle ways: a promotion here, a potential coaching candidate there, ignoring a potential coaching candidate, the word “distraction” being thrown around when a player speaks his mind.

And then there is now the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, whose decade-old leaked email this week included the use of a racist trope (commenting on the shape of the lips of Players Association executive director Demoris Smith); direct sexism (in comments about Sarah Thomas, the league’s first female official); and outright homophobia (in many ways, including calling Roger Goodell “f—-t”).

As part of the NFL’s investigation into workplace misconduct within the Washington football team, Gruden’s damaging emails were discovered and sent first to the Wall Street Journal and then to the New York Times, prompting outrage and then Gruden’s on Monday night. Resigned.


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