Goodbye Gruden and ongoing Snyder investigation discussion

djbayko

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Tony C

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Gruden did his normal media availability period yesterday afternoon, about an hour after the WSJ story broke.

If you have a subscription to The Athletic, I recommend giving this story by Raiders beat writer Tashan Reed a read:

https://theathletic.com/2877784/2021/10/08/reed-raiders-coach-jon-gruden-must-prove-his-racist-comment-isnt-indicative-of-his-character/
It's a good article, but I guess I don't get why he should be given the chance to prove he's not a racist. I mean, I get that there are greys and degrees. A racist image like this doesn't make him a KKK member. Nor do I doubt that he's not racist in the sense that he not a white supremacist who believes blacks are dumb etc etc. But, on the other hand it is a very racist statement that isn't just an individual insult but one that uses a gross caricature of black lips and equates that to stupidity. That's not light. Gruden could prove that he's happy to work with blacks w/ out discrimination; that he's hired x number; and that he obviously believes in the intelligence/integrity of those hires, etc. He can do lots of things to "prove" he's not racist. But just as that e mail doesn't show he's the very worst type of racist. So too is it impossible for any other action of his to prove he's not a racist since he quite recently demonstrated racist reflexes. That doesn't go away. His "apology" reinforced it, in fact by virtue of being so tone deaf.

I know it's more complicated given the finances, etc, but the right thing to do is fire him and move on. A great organization like the Raiders shouldn't be represented by someone who clearly trades in racist tropes.
 

bosockboy

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Raider HoF wideout Tim Brown says he never had doubts about Gruden, has heard him use “rubber lips” and thinks there is a chance Mark Davis fires Gruden.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/raiders/former-raiders-great-admits-comment-could-cost-gruden-his-job-2456387/
As one of a couple other Raider lifers on here….couple thoughts.

I’ll say I’m not a fan of every email or text one has ever written being parsed a decade later. I have no idea anything I wrote ten years ago.

At minimum it was an immature and sophomoric email, and Gruden strikes me as someone not very bright or socially enlightened outside of his insular world of football coaching. At maximum it’s far worse and definitely worth exploring termination.

It’s up to Davis to decide where it’s at on that scale; having the players association as an enemy isn’t helpful in the world of free agency and that might determine his fate.

Tom Flores, Art Shell, Amy Trask and now Carl Nassib were NFL diversity firsts on the Raiders watch. Davis takes that seriously.
 

AbbyNoho

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Racism is a system, not a personal opinion, and I wish we (like our society, not we on this board) could move past debating whether or not Gruden is actively intending to make racial statements and deal with the fact that it doesn't matter, it's still racist even if he doesn't know why. So tired of having to debate the basic meanings of words every time, it's such an easy excuse and it shouldn't even be the point.

"Blade of Racism" sounds like something Schilling would have displayed on his gaming room wall.
 

mwonow

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Apropos of not a lot here, but I just went through diversity training for a new employer, and the phrase "the intent doesn't matter" (it's how what was said/done was received) is echoing loudly in my head here.

It doesn't really matter what Gruden claims to have meant. What Dee heard matters a lot. What Tim Brown thinks kind of matters, but only a little. What Mark Davis does matters a lot.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Apropos of not a lot here, but I just went through diversity training for a new employer, and the phrase "the intent doesn't matter" (it's how what was said/done was received) is echoing loudly in my head here.

It doesn't really matter what Gruden claims to have meant. What Dee heard matters a lot. What Tim Brown thinks kind of matters, but only a little. What Mark Davis does matters a lot.
Doesnt the fact that this was a private email change the equation as to "intent doesnt matter"? It was never supposed to reach Dees ears (duh), so I'm not sure what Dee hears is what really matters. No?
 

BroodsSexton

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Doesnt the fact that this was a private email change the equation as to "intent doesnt matter"? It was never supposed to reach Dees ears (duh), so I'm not sure what Dee hears is what really matters. No?
[/QUOTEst debating whether or not Gruden is actively intending to make racial statements and deal with the fact that it doesn't matter, it's still racist even if he doesn't know why. So tired of having to debate the basic meanings of words every time, it's such an easy excuse and it shouldn't even be the point.
This is not going to end well.
 

BringBackMo

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I’ll say I’m not a fan of every email or text one has ever written being parsed a decade later. I have no idea anything I wrote ten years ago.
Out of curiosity, where do you personally draw the line on this kind of thing? If it’s unfair to “parse” an email from ten years ago for referring to a Black man as having lips the size of Michelin tires, what kind of written statement *would* it be acceptable to hold someone accountable for a decade later?
 

Average Reds

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Doesnt the fact that this was a private email change the equation as to "intent doesnt matter"? It was never supposed to reach Dees ears (duh), so I'm not sure what Dee hears is what really matters. No?
You are obviously correct that Gruden never intended for his indefensible racism to be exposed. I don't see that as being exculpatory in any way.
 

mwonow

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Doesnt the fact that this was a private email change the equation as to "intent doesnt matter"? It was never supposed to reach Dees ears (duh), so I'm not sure what Dee hears is what really matters. No?
Again, I'm not sure the points of emphasis in the training apply here, but no, that would make no difference - it doesn't matter if a person is addressed directly if the effect is (for that person, or for a class of people) a toxic environment.
 

ragnarok725

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Racism is a system, not a personal opinion, and I wish we (like our society, not we on this board) could move past debating whether or not Gruden is actively intending to make racial statements and deal with the fact that it doesn't matter, it's still racist even if he doesn't know why. So tired of having to debate the basic meanings of words every time, it's such an easy excuse and it shouldn't even be the point.
The harm is what matters, and I agree that parsing intent centers the discussion wrongly. It’s a shitty statement and Gruden should own that and apologize without reservation.

But surely intent has to matter on some level when weighing punishment for these types of acts? I think that’s where it’s coming into the conversation on this board at least.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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You are obviously correct that Gruden never intended for his indefensible racism to be exposed. I don't see that as being exculpatory in any way.
I mean...I never said it was?

Pointing out that someone's logic is flawed is simply that. It wasnt a defense of Gruden being a racist.

In the lense of employer diversity training, "intent doesnt matter" is specifically aimed at employees making hurtful comments to other employees without malicious intent. It's not important how they meant it, simply how the receiving party internalized it.

I dont find that particular analogy to be useful here because Dee was never intended to be the receiving party. Viewing it through this lense dilutes the effect of what actually happened. This wasnt someone making an unknowingly hurtful statement. It was someone making a blatantly racist statement. Period.

As an aside, I hate the idea that someone's intent doesnt matter. The "intent doesnt matter" lense makes a lot of sense for corporations, but not for society as a whole. But that's more of a V&N thread.
 

BunnzMcGinty

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Interestingly the article points out that no one in the league will say WHAT vulgar comments Gruden used. I have a strong feeling he made liberal use of words for a bundle of sticks and negative oral pressure on a male chicken in reference to his perception of their masculinity or sexual orientation. I think he’s gone.
 

Marciano490

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Lackluster effort today against a not-great team. Wonder if that portends anything.
 

moondog80

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Lackluster effort today against a not-great team. Wonder if that portends anything.
Maybe there wasn't enough time since it broke on Friday, but I feel like if he was going to get fired it would have happened already.
 

joe dokes

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Lackluster effort today against a not-great team. Wonder if that portends anything.
At a minimum, it portends that this season will end up like the last 2.

The harm is what matters, and I agree that parsing intent centers the discussion wrongly. It’s a shitty statement and Gruden should own that and apologize without reservation.

But surely intent has to matter on some level when weighing punishment for these types of acts? I think that’s where it’s coming into the conversation on this board at least.
And those are two different things. (not suggesting you are saying otherwise.). An apology here should not include an explanation because there is no explanation, other than "I never said it.") It's not that difficult.
"Obviously, I sent that email and used those offensive words. I am sorry and ashamed. I have reached out to De Smith and Mark Davis and will speak with them directly about my inexcusable behavior." Not "I dont remember sending it." Not, "it was 10 years ago." Not, "I am really not a racist." Those are not apology words.

Punishment here, like punishment in just about every other context, should take in a larger breadth of considerations. I'm not sure there are other considerations that save his job, unless Smith himself lobbies for it, given the direct nature of the slur.
 

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Ralphwiggum

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The Randy Moss video is illustrative of why intent doesn't matter, and the damage done by shit like this is more widespread than the person who was the target of the comments.
 

ManicCompression

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The Randy Moss video is illustrative of why intent doesn't matter, and the damage done by shit like this is more widespread than the person who was the target of the comments.
I don't think it's a good idea for society to not recognize the difference between the people who accidentally set a house on fire by leaving the stove on and the people who purposely set a house on fire for the expressed purpose of causing pain and suffering. It's an important difference because the former can learn and adjust behavior while the latter will continue to want to cause pain and suffering. This is a foundational piece of our legal system. Should we do away with the distinction between manslaughter and third degree murder as well?

EDIT: For clarification, I am not defending Gruden in any way. This post is only in response to RW's extremely broad statement that intent doesn't matter generally.
 
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Devizier

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I don't think it's a good idea for society to not recognize the difference between the people who accidentally set a house on fire by leaving the stove on and the people who purposely set a house on fire
The only thing accidental here is the racist emails leaking out to the press.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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The Randy Moss video is illustrative of why intent doesn't matter, and the damage done by shit like this is more widespread than the person who was the target of the comments.
No. You're doing it wrong.

Grudens INTENT was to make a hurtful, racist statement. He didnt want others to see it, but that was his intent.

If someone says something hurtful without malicious intent, they can be informed its hurtful, it's a learning experience for people involved, and everyone benefits.

Intent and context - despite causing enough gray areas that people would rather ignore them entirely - really matter. In this case, the context and intent are clearly malicious.

Seriously, when did we forget how to view context as a society?
 

Ralphwiggum

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I don't think it's a good idea for society to not recognize the difference between the people who accidentally set a house on fire by leaving the stove on and the people who purposely set a house on fire for the expressed purpose of causing pain and suffering. It's an important difference because the former can learn and adjust behavior while the latter will continue to want to cause pain and suffering. This is a foundational piece of our legal system. Should we do away with the distinction between manslaughter and third degree murder as well?
Nobody is suggesting that, or at least certainly not me. But hurtful comments are hurtful whether they are intended to be or not, that is the point.
 

Ralphwiggum

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No. You're doing it wrong.

Grudens INTENT was to make a hurtful, racist statement. He didnt want others to see it, but that was his intent.

If someone says something hurtful without maliciois intent, they can be informed its hurtful and everyone benefits.

Intent and context - despite causing enough gray areas that people would rather ignore them entirely- really matter.
That may be correct in this case (Gruden's intent) but I disagree with your second statement. The implication there is that marginalized groups simply have to deal with comments made without malicious intent so long as the person making the comments apologizes or is contrite or whatever. I reject that premise.
 

Van Everyman

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Agreed. At this point, I think most adults should know better than to make comments like this and shouldn’t be granted the opportunity to “learn from their mistakes.” Why should Demaurice Smith have to take this? Why should any of his players? We’ve known this kind of thing was wrong for over half a century.

Again, I really wish a white player on the Raiders would step up here to call out Gruden. I’m still sick over how few white players took a knee during the anthem protests.
 

Spelunker

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I don't think it's a good idea for society to not recognize the difference between the people who accidentally set a house on fire by leaving the stove on and the people who purposely set a house on fire for the expressed purpose of causing pain and suffering. It's an important difference because the former can learn and adjust behavior while the latter will continue to want to cause pain and suffering. This is a foundational piece of our legal system. Should we do away with the distinction between manslaughter and third degree murder as well?
"I didn't mean to burn your house down" is pretty thin gruel to someone that keeps having their house burnt down.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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That may be correct in this case (Gruden's intent) but I disagree with your second statement. The implication there is that marginalized groups simply have to deal with comments made without malicious intent so long as the person making the comments apologizes or is contrite or whatever. I reject that premise.
Why do you reject that premise? If someone says something hurtful without realizing its malicious, and then sincerely apologizes and reforms when informed, is that not exactly how we would want a multi-cultural society to work? Is that not how we make incremental progress to expanding societal awareness? Or are we at the point when it's better to simply mute conversation or punish people who have no ill-will?

I envy you. Must be nice to never have inserted your foot into your mouth before.

I shouldn't have to say this, but I've learned my lessons - this is not applicable to Gruden. Grudens intent was malicious, and therefore deserves no quarters.

Agreed. At this point, I think most adults should know better than to make comments like this and shouldn’t be granted the opportunity to “learn from their mistakes.” Why should Demaurice Smith have to take this? Why should any of his players? We’ve known this kind of thing was wrong for over half a century.
Nobody here disagrees.
 

Marciano490

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"I didn't mean to burn your house down" is pretty thin gruel to someone that keeps having their house burnt down.
Especially when the accidental arsonist is standing next to the burned down house with a can full of gas and a hand full of matches.

Gruden, as a grown ass man, said a black man has big lips. In 2011. In Obama times. Fire this dude already.
 

ManicCompression

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Nobody is suggesting that, or at least certainly not me. But hurtful comments are hurtful whether they are intended to be or not, that is the point.
You suggested that when you said "intent doesn't matter." Clearly there is an important difference between Richard Spencer saying something racist and a grandma offending someone by accident because she doesn't know the latest microaggressions.

And to be clear, this is not in relation to Jon Gruden or his emails, I'm strictly responding to your extremely broad statement.
 

lexrageorge

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Why do you reject that premise? If someone says something hurtful without realizing its malicious, and then sincerely apologizes and reforms when informed, is that not exactly how we would want a multi-cultural society to work? Is that not how we make incremental progress to expanding societal awareness? Or are we at the point when it's better to simply mute conversation or punish people who have no ill-will?

I envy you. Must be nice to never have inserted your foot into your mouth before.

I shouldn't have to say this, but I've learned my lessons - this is not applicable to Gruden. Grudens intent was malicious, and therefore deserves no quarters.



Nobody here disagrees.
Yeah, the “intent doesn’t matter” is a contortion of most companies policies on the matter. If I go into the office on a Monday and say “I hate Monday’s”, or flash an OK symbol acknowledging to someone that “it’s OK”, I’ve done nothing wrong or malicious.
If someone feels uncomfortable or offended, then my employer has the right to ask me to stop, in which case intent becomes rather obvious if I continue doing whatever it is I’ve been asked to stop.

As noted, hard to argue against Gruden’s intent.
 

Oil Can Dan

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Gruden, as a grown ass man, said a black man has big lips. In 2011. In Obama times. Fire this dude already.
This. I can't believe this is even debatable. Although I suspect Mark Davis has around 80M more reasons than any of us to keep him on...
 

Ralphwiggum

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You suggested that when you said "intent doesn't matter." Clearly there is an important difference between Richard Spencer saying something racist and a grandma offending someone by accident because she doesn't know the latest microaggressions.

And to be clear, this is not in relation to Jon Gruden or his emails, I'm strictly responding to your extremely broad statement.
I made the comment in the context of Randy Moss being clearly upset over the situation. Let's say for a minute Gruden really didn't mean any harm by what he said, if Moss is honestly upset about the comments, isn't that something that he gets to feel? Does Gruden's intent matter in that instance?

I'm not talking about holding someone culpable for committing a crime or even what it means for Gruden. I was simply saying that people who have been punched down at their whole lives can be triggered by comments and their feelings are not invalidated because there was no malicious intent.
 

ManicCompression

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I made the comment in the context of Randy Moss being clearly upset over the situation. Let's say for a minute Gruden really didn't mean any harm by what he said, if Moss is honestly upset about the comments, isn't that something that he gets to feel? Does Gruden's intent matter in that instance?

I'm not talking about holding someone culpable for committing a crime or even what it means for Gruden. I was simply saying that people who have been punched down at their whole lives can be triggered by comments and their feelings are not invalidated because there was no malicious intent.
You made the comment in that context and then broadened it out to a general scope, just as you do in your second sentence of this post. I take it to mean that you believe intent doesn't matter in all situations like this - is that a misunderstanding on my part? Or do you believe there is really no difference in the way we should respond to Richard Spencer and the ignorant grandmother I mentioned?
 

Jimbodandy

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Odd part of the delay to whack Gruden here is that the Raiders (in fact, the Davis family) has a tradition of whacking coaches and then not paying out their contract. It's the only such tradition in the three major sports that I'm aware of. Why stop now? The answer is obvious--Gruden has the financial wherewithal to take them to court and win, and they're only used to punching down in this context.
 

Marciano490

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You made the comment in that context and then broadened it out to a general scope, just as you do in your second sentence of this post. I take it to mean that you believe intent doesn't matter in all situations like this - is that a misunderstanding on my part? Or do you believe there is really no difference in the way we should respond to Richard Spencer and the ignorant grandmother I mentioned?
Why does this matter? There’s always something worse. Gruden’s comment was horrific. Your modern Godwin references to Richard Spencer are irrelevant. If he’d said what he said in person, he’d have been gone ten years ago.
 

Ralphwiggum

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You made the comment in that context and then broadened it out to a general scope, just as you do in your second sentence of this post. I take it to mean that you believe intent doesn't matter in all situations like this - is that a misunderstanding on my part? Or do you believe there is really no difference in the way we should respond to Richard Spencer and the ignorant grandmother I mentioned?
Sorry if I am not being clear, I am not saying intent doesn't matter in terms of the consequences. I'm saying that if someone is offended by a hurtful comment, then they are offended by it, whether the person who said it said it with malicious intent or not.

What I am specifically rejecting is the burden we place on marginalized individuals in these circumstances. So long as the person making the comment didn't mean it, everything is supposed to be forgiven. Think of how long it takes to change things, like for this board for instance to stop using certain terms that are hurtful to women or members of the LGBTQ community. Those terms were largely used without malice, but we know because members spoke up that they were honestly hurt by this board allowing that kind of language. It must be exhausting to be expected to let anything slide so long as the person making the comment is making it from a place of ignorance rather than maliciously.
 

ManicCompression

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Why does this matter? There’s always something worse. Gruden’s comment was horrific. Your modern Godwin references to Richard Spencer are irrelevant. If he’d said what he said in person, he’d have been gone ten years ago.
I've specifically noted this is unrelated to Gruden. RW dropped as a matter-of-fact in the middle of his post that "intent doesn't matter," which is something I see being repeated everywhere that doesn't make any sense in a society of 330 million people. It matters because obviously intent is important when it comes to how we treat statements and "penalize" people socially, in the workplace, etc.

And RW clarified his statement is more focused on one's personal feelings, which is fine, but it sounds like intent does actually matter in the broader scope of how we approach these incidents as a society.

I'm not defending Gruden. The opposite, actually. We shouldn't flatten situations like this so that people who intend to say and do bad things, like Gruden, suffer greater consequences than those who don't.