Jon Gruden ... deep sigh!

I used to like and admire Gruden, until yesterday.

I suspect we’re only scratching the surface with the leaked emails, but the early results are that he truly appears to be an awful human being. Why is it that so many successful coaches appear to have major character flaws?

Always been a Raiders fan, and I’ve never liked Gruden.

To me, he’s always come off as a smarmy douche (at best) and a colossal a-hole (at worst). Looking more and more like the latter is more of his default state.


too bad someone didn’t challenge him in those emails and simply say, “Jon, please don’t use those derogatory terms in future correspondence with me”


Excellent point. I think we all know that’s often really hard to do. I know I’m non-confrontational the vast majority of the time. However, when we remain silent on these types of things, we’re sort of condoning it and allowing it to continue.


The other possibility is that there was a reason why Gruden felt comfortable using those terms with the recipient. No one has come forward to say that they heard Gruden expressing himself that way in any other situations. How much do we know about the person on the receiving end? I’m not excusing Gruden by any means, just saying there may be others that have some accountability.


good point, we’ll just have to wait and see if more comes out

sadly, the fact that these were casual emails (meaning those are probably more in line with his actual values) isn’t a great look. :frowning_face:


My experience is it depends on the audience. Out here in the West, if somebody uses racist language there’s a critical mass of folks who reject that and your audience will wise up, for the most part. Where my wife is from - the South - if I object to somebody using that language, then I become the outsider. (Disclosure - my interactions with white people in the South have been limited to shopping, and I only heard it a handful of times, years ago. Almost all my time spent there is among African Americans.)

(There’s the whole other issue of African Americans using the term affectionately, or in humor. I know it’s controversial within the community.)

It’s really difficult to tell how much that BS is latent in different areas of the country because it’s been verboten for a long time. As the late political strategist Lee Atwater put it in comments during the 70s “in the 50s you could say ‘n-word, n-word, n-word’ and nobody would care, but now you need to be more sophisticated in your communication, use code words, understood phrases in your political messaging”.

More recently, my oldest son and his HS buddies circa 2010 used to use the word “gay” as a put down. “That’s so gay!” I told them to pick a different word. Use of that word as a pejorative changed a few years later.


I’d be interested to explore that topic a bit further. Because that word seems to be so pervasive (and shortening it and putting an ‘a’ on the end doesn’t change it in my mind) in all sorts of music and popular culture. I suspect that’s what Morgan Scalley got caught up in, but I have no insider knowledge and I’m just a suburban white guy, so many, many grains of salt…

I think you’re right about Morgan. Anyone who knows him knows he’s not racist, not by 10,000 country miles. There’s no way he’d still be here if it was more than a stupid mistake. If he doesn’t have the solid support of his players, he would have been gone.

My 101 year old mother in law has used the word to me, explaining why her brother wasn’t arrested and put in prison for slashing her other brother with a knife. “lol, back then didn’t nobody care if a N-word fought another N-word”. (She’s 101 years old, talking with her is a unique view into the past, in Kentucky.)

The Gansta rap & young people using it I think is a case of “embracing the pejorative”, owning it, using it exclusively, a parody on institutionalized racism. It’s used in an affectionate or joking manner, I think this is the context Morgan got caught up in… but it’s an ugly word, and we can’t use it. (Maybe this “exclusivity” gives it cache within the community.)

I’ve heard African Americans use it regarding other AAs in a detrimental way, but not very often. In that situation it’s clearly a put down.

(Historically there’s some stratification within the African American community, based on skin tone. “Colorism” exists in some Latin countries, in India, among Polynesians. The common theme is if you’re really dark, you probably work in the fields. If you’re lighter skinned, you work in doors. We think it’s crazy… but it exists, though I think over time it’s becoming less prevalent, is frowned upon.)

Mostly I’ve heard a lot of mothers telling their kids “why are you using the word the slave owners used for us!?!? You’re giving permission to racists to keep putting us down!”

I’ve heard a similar use of slang among Navajos, who use the word “John” to describe other Navajos. “Those stupid Johns, why don’t they get a new truck?” or “We saw some Johns up at the casino in Tawaoc” (on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation in Colorado). I have no idea where this word originated.

EDIT - if you think about it, there’s a lot of words we use to put down other folks who look like us. “rednecks”, “elites”, “farmers”, “liberals”, “flyover country”. Way too many to list… but given the history and their smaller numbers, pejorative slang toward minority groups stands out much more conspicuously. When I was a little kid, I couldn’t keep track of all the words used by grown ups to describe “others”. I’m glad that stuff is frowned upon now.


The only acceptable put down term is “Zoob”.


I’ve always wondered where “zoob” came from. Back when I was in Big Pharma, my boss had a PhD in biology (I have a BS) from Utah, and he would always refer to BYU students as zoobs. I don’t think the term was used back in the Late Cretaceous when I was at Utah, so I pretended to know what he was talking about.

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If what was reported about Scalley’s issue is true it is miles away from what Gruden is accused of saying.


I always assumed it was a derivative of “BY Zoo”.

My brother calls the Boise fans “Tater Zoobs”. Heh. Timely reference.


I think Gruden offended nearly everyone. only white males and Unitarians were spared :wink:


One thing this Gruden fiasco is going to do is prompt a dialog among players & coaches in the NFL, probably in other pro sports & in college sports.

If coaches aren’t really sincere, it will be sniffed out. The vast majority will be fine, IMO, but there could be some interesting reverberations from all this.

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I think Urban is thanking Jon for taking this next news cycle for coaches losing trust from their players. Makes his indiscretion look much more minor.


You can’t turn football players or coaches into woke activists for LGBTQ+QRSTUVWXYZ.

I know there are guys on this board who played and know the atmosphere in the locker room. Guys who know how football players talk to each other. The kind of things said in that environment among teammates would make modern day man-buns and 49 of the 50 genders cry like a Democrat confessing past sins.

Gruden is a football guy. His mistake was taking it out of the locker room.


It’s a slang term referencing a dog’s penis.

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Do you think guys say that stuff to Carl Nassib? I’ll bet he’s pretty “woke” about this.


I don’t know who that is.
However, I did see a snippet of Keyshawn Johnson bitching like a Weight Watcher talking to a cookie selling Girl Scout about how this whole awful scenario made him want to hide under a bed.
Racism, sexism, body shaming, anything that is intended to harm someone emotionally or psychologically is repugnant. So is Group Think. So is jumping to conclusions. I’ve seen the most innocuous statements taken out of context, completely, solely with intent to harm.
Gruden is a scapegoat for the NFL.

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