Sports

Jon Gruden emails: Ex-NFL coach Jeff Fisher responds to allegations stemming from scandal

Jon Gruden is formally out of the league after resigning as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night time, within the wake of an electronic mail scandal that exposed conversations he held with former Washington Soccer Workforce government Bruce Allen that included years of racist, homophobic and misogynistic language — in 2010 and past. The revelations and subsequent consequence despatched shockwaves all through the league, and though there continues to be refusal to launch the whole lot of their findings that included Gruden’s emails, there are nonetheless some who’re catching strays from the fallout, one such individual being Jeff Fisher.

Fisher, former head coach of each the Tennessee Titans (beforehand the Houston Oilers) and the Los Angeles Rams (previously housed in St. Louis), was accused by Gruden of succumbing to strain by the league’s entrance workplace to draft Michael Sam, the primary overtly homosexual participant to ever enter an NFL Draft. Gruden referred to Sam as a homophobic slur and wrote that the NFL ought to’ve by no means “pressured” Fisher into choosing Sam.

On Tuesday, Fisher issued a reply to the allegations.

“Michael Sam was the SEC Co-Defensive Participant of the Yr in 2013, and we chosen him within the 2014 NFL Draft based mostly upon his defensive manufacturing and go speeding talent set on the sector,” wrote Fisher, through Twitter. “As a head coach for over 20 years, we drafted or did not draft, gamers based mostly on quite a lot of qualities. Their sexual orientation would by no means — and may by no means — play a component within the decision-making course of. I proceed to assist Michael, and his resolution to return out as the primary draft-eligible overtly homosexual participant within the league. It took braveness to function a task mannequin for these aggressive soccer gamers who may additionally occur to be homosexual. 

“Lastly, the NFL by no means inspired or discouraged me concerning collection of a possible prospect.”

Additionally a First-Workforce All SEC expertise in 2013, Sam drew the curiosity of many NFL teams forward of the draft in 2014, and frolicked with each the Rams and the Dallas Cowboys in his NFL profession. Sarcastically, Gruden later discovered himself teaching a Raiders group with Carl Nassib on its roster, the league’s first energetic participant to ever come out as homosexual, and likewise the first-ever overtly homosexual participant to take the sector in recreation (Sam’s profession was spent on observe squads for each the Rams and Cowboys). Gruden publicly praised Nassib for his resolution this previous June, throughout Delight Month, however the skeletons in Gruden’s closet reveal a a lot darker view of homosexual people.

Fisher wasn’t the one goal of Gruden’s and, as with NFLPA government director DeMaurice Smith — who was the sufferer of a racist trope from Gruden in 2010 — he is opted to not sit idly by and to as an alternative reply to the assault. Gruden and the Raiders divorce with six years left on his historic 10-year deal, and the possibilities of him ever working within the league once more are close to zero.

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