Goodbye Gruden and ongoing Snyder investigation discussion

Ralphwiggum

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It is odd that we’re having these digressions about borderline use cases like “grandfathering” when the stuff Gruden wrote was racist as can be. This isn’t even a context of its time issue, shit like that was racist in 1950. And it was used with racist intent, to address the other digression.

The only surprise here is that Gruden anticipated that these would be private and he was absolutely wrong to have that expectation. I mean, it doesn’t even matter because if you say that kind of stupid shit you should be prepared to face consequences.
The digression started when I made a comment about Randy Moss' reaction to Gruden. Moss was not the target of Gruden's emails, but was obviously and honestly hurt that someone in a position of power like that, someone who controlled the fate of hundreds of black athletes over the years, would write an email like that. Maybe it wasn't the right jumping off point since as you note Gruden's comments aren't borderline, but at the time it looked like he might survive this, based on his bullshit statement that he didn't mean it that way, and the classic circling of the wagons that happens in these cases by his former colleagues in broadcasting along with former players. I used Moss' reaction as a jumping off point to discuss how even if you bought Gruden's "I didn't mean it that way" explanation, it doesn't matter as it relates to how Moss was processing the situation and his reaction to it.

The only other thing I would note is that this is SOSH where we pretty much all agree this case is gross and not borderline, but if you hop on over to any number of other sports message boards out there, there are plenty of people who think Gruden was wronged here for whatever reason (they were private emails, they were 10 years ago, everyone needs to stop being so sensitive and "woke"). In that context I still think it was a worthwhile digression, "grandfathering" may be a borderline use case now, but so was the use of the "b" word or the "c" word to refer to women on this very message board during my time here. The definition of what is borderline and what is over the line is constantly moving, and as a cis white male I feel like I have an obligation to avoid the reflexive "that's ridiculous, I use that phrase all the time" reaction in these conversations.
 

HurstSoGood

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How are we ever going to successfully raise boys to be good, mentally tough men if the tools of misogyny, homophobia, bullying, racism, physical abuse and mental abuse are taken out of our toolboxes? How is young Timmy going to maximize his potential if he cannot be grabbed by the facemark and called a f***** p**** or fa**** every now and again?

Many of us may be familiar with the recent hazing story out of Brunswick, ME:
https://www.pressherald.com/2021/10/06/brunswick-high-fires-coach-cancels-rest-of-football-season-in-wake-of-hazing-incident/

The thing that stuck out most was not the actual incident involving, among other things, a player was held down and a dildo forced into his mouth), but a reaction from a parent quoted extensively in the article. He felt that as long as there was "no extreme bodily harm" done, then this was all blown out of proportion.

[/SPOILER]
Matt Barbour, the father of Brunswick football player, is disappointed that the school department canceled the rest of the season. His son, Gavin Barbour, is a junior captain.
“My son worked his ass off as a junior to make a captain,” Matt Barbour said. “And now he’s a captain of a team that never even got to finish the season – and with zero fault of his own. Because it was five kids get kicked off, now we decide to kick the coach off.
“To be frank and honest here, I went to football camp when I was younger,” he added. “We all know going to football camp that part of football camp is bonding, that some people might not like to see as bonding. Whether some of those things were taken to a level that was higher than maybe it should have been? Maybe. To think that, shy of extreme bodily harm, that something that happens at a football camp would result in what we’re talking about right now seems way out of proportion.
“Certainly kids that got out of hand should have been punished, whether they should they have been punished with a simple suspension for a game or two versus what they did give them certainly could be up for debate.”

Gruden is nothing more than a new poster child for the forever-long safe-harboring of this revolting behavior by a bunch of man-children just like him. He just got caught.
Same shit, different decade.
 

Awesome Fossum

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I guess what I don't understand is the timing of everything. The NFL announced over the summer that they weren't going to release anything publicly from the Wilkinson investigation. But now all of this stuff is leaking out midseason -- is the league still going through the findings and just now seeing stuff like this?
 

Van Everyman

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I mean, is there any evidence that the NFL is actually leaking this? I know everyone’s operating assumption was that it was the league that provided the information to the New York Times. But do we know that to be the case? That would have to be one of the all-time stupid moves if they’re endgame is to prevent any of this discovery from seeing the light of day. Not that I would put it past the NFL…
 

pappymojo

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I mean, is there any evidence that the NFL is actually leaking this? I know everyone’s operating assumption was that it was the league that provided the information to the New York Times. But do we know that to be the case? That would have to be one of the all-time stupid moves if they’re endgame is to prevent any of this discovery from seeing the light of day. Not that I would put it past the NFL…
Who else has access to the emails and is in a position to leak them?
 

Hoya81

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Feb 3, 2010
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How are we ever going to successfully raise boys to be good, mentally tough men if the tools of misogyny, homophobia, bullying, racism, physical abuse and mental abuse are taken out of our toolboxes? How is young Timmy going to maximize his potential if he cannot be grabbed by the facemark and called a f***** p**** or fa**** every now and again?

Many of us may be familiar with the recent hazing story out of Brunswick, ME:
https://www.pressherald.com/2021/10/06/brunswick-high-fires-coach-cancels-rest-of-football-season-in-wake-of-hazing-incident/

The thing that stuck out most was not the actual incident involving, among other things, a player was held down and a dildo forced into his mouth), but a reaction from a parent quoted extensively in the article. He felt that as long as there was "no extreme bodily harm" done, then this was all blown out of proportion.

[/SPOILER]
Matt Barbour, the father of Brunswick football player, is disappointed that the school department canceled the rest of the season. His son, Gavin Barbour, is a junior captain.
“My son worked his ass off as a junior to make a captain,” Matt Barbour said. “And now he’s a captain of a team that never even got to finish the season – and with zero fault of his own. Because it was five kids get kicked off, now we decide to kick the coach off.
“To be frank and honest here, I went to football camp when I was younger,” he added. “We all know going to football camp that part of football camp is bonding, that some people might not like to see as bonding. Whether some of those things were taken to a level that was higher than maybe it should have been? Maybe. To think that, shy of extreme bodily harm, that something that happens at a football camp would result in what we’re talking about right now seems way out of proportion.
“Certainly kids that got out of hand should have been punished, whether they should they have been punished with a simple suspension for a game or two versus what they did give them certainly could be up for debate.”

Gruden is nothing more than a new poster child for the forever-long safe-harboring of this revolting behavior by a bunch of man-children just like him. He just got caught.
Same shit, different decade.
WTF is happening in high school sports? I feel like I’ve seen dozens of similar HS hazing incidents like this in recent years. I thought it was bad when the seniors on my HS team required us to shave our heads.
 

Van Everyman

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Who else has access to the emails and is in a position to leak them?
Well, I think it comes down to whoever felt the Gruden emails were worthy of leaking in the first place. Not sure if Katz and Banks (representing some of the WFT accusers who are calling for their release) have seen them. I think it's also possible that Beth Wilkinson or someone on her team was the culprit -- esp. if she felt her original charge of investigating the WFT and Snyder was truncated by the NFL insisting she only provide a verbal report. If so, dropping the Gruden information as a breadcrumb is a pretty good way of getting the ball rolling.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's possible someone within or associated with the league office is doing this -- but without Goodell's consent. I have a hard time believing Goodell wanted Gruden gone so badly (for saying things I'd guess >50% of coaches say/believe) that he'd risk opening up the findings of an investigation he'd successfully kept under wraps and that most people had forgotten about.
 

cornwalls@6

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WTF is happening in high school sports? I feel like I’ve seen dozens of similar HS hazing incidents like this in recent years. I thought it was bad when the seniors on my HS team required us to shave our heads.
Was just about to post something similar. I played high school football in what would seem to be(and in some ways was) the dark ages of the late 70's/early 80's. Our coaches were certainly ass-backwards jerks to some degree(1 water break for a 3 hour practice, smelling salts and "shake it off" for concussions, etc.). And while they were definitely yellers and face-mask grabbers, they never went to ugly, vicious extremes I've read about in recent years. "Shit" or "goddammit" were pretty much the limits of their profanity. And I don't ever remember the bizarre and repugnant hazing being directed at a players sexuality, that I've read about too often in recent years. Or maybe it's just being more exposed now.
 

TFisNEXT

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Well, I think it comes down to whoever felt the Gruden emails were worthy of leaking in the first place. Not sure if Katz and Banks (representing some of the WFT accusers who are calling for their release) have seen them. I think it's also possible that Beth Wilkinson or someone on her team was the culprit -- esp. if she felt her original charge of investigating the WFT and Snyder was truncated by the NFL insisting she only provide a verbal report. If so, dropping the Gruden information as a breadcrumb is a pretty good way of getting the ball rolling.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's possible someone within or associated with the league office is doing this -- but without Goodell's consent. I have a hard time believing Goodell wanted Gruden gone so badly (for saying things I'd guess >50% of coaches say/believe) that he'd risk opening up the findings of an investigation he'd successfully kept under wraps and that most people had forgotten about.
The bolded seems like the most rational explanation here. It's hard to believe Goodell would sign off on leaking those emails about Gruden the more I think about it. It just draws more attention to the question "what else is in those emails?".
 

Seabass

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The NFL wants De Smith to keep his job because the owners have made a shitload of money while he's been running the NFLPA -- that's where this all started. They had these emails that would make Smith into a sympathetic figure, and Gruden was the guy who had to be sacrificed on the shield to change the narrative about Smith not having the votes to keep his job.

I genuinely don't think the NFL thought about the logical extension of "some emails were released; people will want to see all of the emails" because this administration has successfully done whatever they want for the entirety of their reign. I don't think anything else will come of the WFT investigation, because the NFL doesn't want that to happen, and they're willing to weather some media pushback until this Sunday, when there will be new storylines.
 

BaseballJones

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Was just about to post something similar. I played high school football in what would seem to be(and in some ways was) the dark ages of the late 70's/early 80's. Our coaches were certainly ass-backwards jerks to some degree(1 water break for a 3 hour practice, smelling salts and "shake it off" for concussions, etc.). And while they were definitely yellers and face-mask grabbers, they never went to ugly, vicious extremes I've read about in recent years. "Shit" or "goddammit" were pretty much the limits of their profanity. And I don't ever remember the bizarre and repugnant hazing being directed at a players sexuality, that I've read about too often in recent years. Or maybe it's just being more exposed now.
Just on the language piece of this....

I've been involved in youth/high school sports for a long time. It is inexcusable for HS or youth coach to drop F-bombs with or (especially) AT their players.

I mean, no school AD or principal should tolerate that. They'd never allow a math teacher to call out the class for a poor exam, ripping into them with expletives. That teacher would be suspended or fired (depending on union rules) on the spot for something like that. But somehow it's accepted because it's sports.

There are worse things coaches can do, obviously, than drop F-bombs around HS athletes. But that doesn't mean it should be tolerated either.
 

TFisNEXT

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Was just about to post something similar. I played high school football in what would seem to be(and in some ways was) the dark ages of the late 70's/early 80's. Our coaches were certainly ass-backwards jerks to some degree(1 water break for a 3 hour practice, smelling salts and "shake it off" for concussions, etc.). And while they were definitely yellers and face-mask grabbers, they never went to ugly, vicious extremes I've read about in recent years. "Shit" or "goddammit" were pretty much the limits of their profanity. And I don't ever remember the bizarre and repugnant hazing being directed at a players sexuality, that I've read about too often in recent years. Or maybe it's just being more exposed now.
I played high school football in the mid/late 1990s and my experience was basically the same as yours. Zero attention was given to shit like concussions (unless it was beyond obvious) and there was the usual stigma of injuries (you were seen as weak if you couldn't play through "minor" injuries), but there was never any of the ridiuclous hazing stuff that you see in some of these stories now. The "hazing" was mostly that if you were a freshman or JV, you had to carry the heaviest pads/equipment out to the practice field or wait at the back of the line for water....shit like that.
 

Deathofthebambino

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FWIW, Massachusetts courts decided to jettison use of the phrase earlier this year, in a very high-profile case. The Commonwealth reporter followed suit.



https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/real-estate-condemnation-trust/practice/2021/grandfather-clause-racist-origins/
Just wanted to come back and say thanks for this. In my practice, I don't have to follow case law that closely so I had no idea this was a subject of conversation. Curious to see what term/phrase they can replace it with....
 

bigq

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WTF is happening in high school sports? I feel like I’ve seen dozens of similar HS hazing incidents like this in recent years. I thought it was bad when the seniors on my HS team required us to shave our heads.
I haven't done substantial research to verify this however I do not believe that recent HS hazing incidents are new developments. Sadly toxic masculinity in sports has been present for generations. In the age of social media incidents like these are seeing the light of day more frequently and events that would have been quietly swept under the rug in the past are no longer so easy to hide. I hope that the increased visibility and attention to the problems brings about positive change.
 

Awesome Fossum

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I can't imagine that it would be Wilkinson's team, considering that she is a professional doing the job for which she was hired. And if she was insulted by how her report of the Washington Football Team was truncated, taking aim at the Las Vegas Raiders head coach seems like a weird target.
 

BroodsSexton

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There is zero chance Beth Wilkinson is leaking these emails. That would be professional suicide if it were found out. And it always is found out.
 

mauf

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I think you guys are spinning some crazy conspiracies.

The NFL didn’t need to do such an exhaustive investigation into Bruce Allen’s misconduct. They could have interviewed a bunch of people, followed up on any specific leads, issued a scathing report, and called it a day. Like just about everyone else on the planet, however, Dan Snyder’s fellow owners hate him. I assume they went digging because they were hoping to find evidence that Snyder was aware of Allen’s misconduct, so they could force Snyder to sell the team. In so doing, they must have known they might unearth inconvenient things that would otherwise go undiscovered. Apparently, they felt it was worth it — so that’s how they came to be reading emails from 10 years ago, which I assume had to be restored from backup tapes or something.

Whether some hapless law firm associate was forced to read all of Allen’s emails, or whether a computer did the first pass, it’s not surprising given the scope and nature of this investigation that Gruden’s correspondence with Allen was flagged. I’m sure the NFL debated what to do with these emails. Gruden wasn’t employed by an NFL team at the time, so they presumably considered doing nothing. Eventually, though, they made the right decision — perhaps partly for altruistic reasons, but also because they realized they would be in a world of hurt if they sat on the emails and someone leaked them later.

What I can’t figure out is why the email about DeMaurice Smith leaked first, with the others dropping several days later. That created a more prolonged embarrassment for the league than necessary, and put a lot of people Goodell would prefer to keep happy in a tough spot, so I doubt it was part of some master plan.
 
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Awesome Fossum

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That doesn't ring true to me either. If the other owners wanted to force Snyder to sell, they already have more than enough ammo. And I also think they wouldn't have approved the debt waiver that let Snyder buy out the WFT minority owners.

Of course, "the other owners" are 31 individuals, not one block.
 

Sox and Rocks

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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Just wanted to come back and say thanks for this. In my practice, I don't have to follow case law that closely so I had no idea this was a subject of conversation. Curious to see what term/phrase they can replace it with....
Yeah, I had never heard of the origin either.

Some suggestions were made upthread: "legacied," "pre-existing non-conforming rights," or "vested rights." Really what they are saying are that new rules don't apply retroactively - so maybe "retroactive rights" might work".

Someone will come up with something else I'm sure.
 

Sox and Rocks

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The NFL wants De Smith to keep his job because the owners have made a shitload of money while he's been running the NFLPA -- that's where this all started. They had these emails that would make Smith into a sympathetic figure, and Gruden was the guy who had to be sacrificed on the shield to change the narrative about Smith not having the votes to keep his job.

I genuinely don't think the NFL thought about the logical extension of "some emails were released; people will want to see all of the emails" because this administration has successfully done whatever they want for the entirety of their reign. I don't think anything else will come of the WFT investigation, because the NFL doesn't want that to happen, and they're willing to weather some media pushback until this Sunday, when there will be new storylines.
I think you're spot on. Goodell and the owners have and will continue to do anything to protect the shield, and, frankly and unfortunately, they've been damn good at it.
 

RIFan

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Sorry man, but I'm fairly confident you're wrong. 30 years ago most of the people in charge were probably saying worse.
You're partially right on this. 30 years ago there is no doubt people in charge were saying worse things, but they weren't doing so in a way that it was recorded for posterity. If Gruden was caught on tape saying 30 years ago saying the same things it would not have been accepted or glossed over. Someone mentioned it earlier, but Jimmy the Greek had his career immediately ended for racial remarks. In his case, it was presumably ignorance and arguably his intent was not meant to denigrate. (To be clear, it's arguable what his intent was, but not that the comments were demeaning and offensive.) To a wide portion of the population at that time what he said might almost be considered conventional wisdom.
The black is a better athlete to begin with, because he's been bred to be that way. Because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back. And they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs. And he's bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War, when, during the slave trading, the big, the owner, the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have uh big black kid, see. That's where it all started
He also went on to say things about blacks taking away whites coaches jobs, which did not get as much notice but might be the more inflammatory statement if made today.
 

djbayko

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I played high school football in the mid/late 1990s and my experience was basically the same as yours. Zero attention was given to shit like concussions (unless it was beyond obvious) and there was the usual stigma of injuries (you were seen as weak if you couldn't play through "minor" injuries), but there was never any of the ridiuclous hazing stuff that you see in some of these stories now. The "hazing" was mostly that if you were a freshman or JV, you had to carry the heaviest pads/equipment out to the practice field or wait at the back of the line for water....shit like that.
I remember seeing troubling HS hazing stories like this throughout my lifetime. My assumption has always been that there are some school systems which simply have grown traditions which get out of control. It's very similar to Greek fraternity/sorority hazing. At some schools it's going to be tame and at others with long traditions which have been left unchecked for many years, you're going to have some crazy shit happening.
 

TFisNEXT

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I remember seeing troubling HS hazing stories like this throughout my lifetime. My assumption has always been that there are some school systems which simply have grown traditions which get out of control. It's very similar to Greek fraternity/sorority hazing. At some schools it's going to be tame and at others with long traditions which have been left unchecked for many years, you're going to have some crazy shit happening.
Yeah I could see that for sure. My guess is it probably happens with similar frequency as it did back then but it didn't get as much exposure back in the pre-internet/social media age and proof was harder to come by back in an era when people didn't have digital recording devices in their pockets.
 

Van Everyman

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I think you guys are spinning some crazy conspiracies.

The NFL didn’t need to do such an exhaustive investigation into Bruce Allen’s misconduct. They could have interviewed a bunch of people, followed up on any specific leads, issued a scathing report, and called it a day. Like just about everyone else on the planet, however, Dan Snyder’s fellow owners hate him. I assume they went digging because they were hoping to find evidence that Snyder was aware of Allen’s misconduct, so they could force Snyder to sell the team. In so doing, they must have known they might unearth inconvenient things that would otherwise go undiscovered. Apparently, they felt it was worth it — so that’s how they came to be reading emails from 10 years ago, which I assume had to be restored from backup tapes or something.

Whether some hapless law firm associate was forced to read all of Allen’s emails, or whether a computer did the first pass, it’s not surprising given the scope and nature of this investigation that Gruden’s correspondence with Allen was flagged. I’m sure the NFL debated what to do with these emails. Gruden wasn’t employed by an NFL team at the time, so they presumably considered doing nothing. Eventually, though, they made the right decision — perhaps partly for altruistic reasons, but also because they realized they would be in a world of hurt if they sat on the emails and someone leaked them later.

What I can’t figure out is why the email about DeMaurice Smith leaked first, with the others dropping several days later. That created a more prolonged embarrassment for the league than necessary, and put a lot of people Goodell would prefer to keep happy in a tough spot, so I doubt it was part of some master plan.
So mauf, you think this was leaked by Goodell? If so, why now? This was old news by last week.
 

Seven Costanza

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EDIT: No need to hijack the thread- just wanted to add some color to the historical hazing stuff and why we may be hearing more about it now. TL;DR it happens, just back in the day there was no point in saying anything about it- there wouldn't have been any consequences of note.
 
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mauf

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So mauf, you think this was leaked by Goodell? If so, why now? This was old news by last week.
I think the NFL knew they couldn’t sweep the Gruden thing under the rug. The piecemeal nature of the disclosures, however, suggests that whatever was done was ad hoc, and not part of some strategy approved by Goodell. At least, that’s my guess — obviously, none of us knows.
 

Cotillion

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Yeah I could see that for sure. My guess is it probably happens with similar frequency as it did back then but it didn't get as much exposure back in the pre-internet/social media age and proof was harder to come by back in an era when people didn't have digital recording devices in their pockets.
Think about all the times people of color have mentioned about police brutality. Now with cameras in everyone's pockets we see how often the police narrative doesn't at all match up with what actually happened.

Cell phone camera has to be one of the greatest inventions for transparency that has happened in a long time.
 

Bowhemian

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EDIT: No need to hijack the thread- just wanted to add some color to the historical hazing stuff and why we may be hearing more about it now. TL;DR it happens, just back in the day there was no point in saying anything about it- there wouldn't have been any consequences of note.
I got hazed in HS football back in the early 80's. Had I said anything, I would have gotten my ass kicked, and then hazed some more.
Heck, I got punched by a teacher once. I never told a soul about it, especially my parents. Because I deserved it for being an asshole to said teacher.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Who else has access to the emails and is in a position to leak them?
Follow the money. Mark Davis had the access and the financial incentive. Davis did not want to fire Gruden because of the legal shit show that would follow. He tried to force Gruden's hand to get him to resign based on the single email and Gruden refused thinking he could weather the storm. Davis leaked the additional emails to the Times and voila, Gruden's resignation appears that afternoon. I assume a resignation means Davis does not have to pay the balance of Gruden's contract. Just my own conspiracy theory.
 

nocode51

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Lord of the Flies definitely captured the darkness tweens-teens are capable of. When incidents of hazing have popped up at my school it hasn't been tradition, it's more like a seed is planted by some adult (parent, coach, uncle) and the culture/atmosphere/leadership hasn't been strong enough to stop it. We had a bad incident of paddling Freshmen about 17-18 years ago. When caught they said it was "tradition" and always happened. Once it was pointed out that this wasn't remotely true it turns out someone much older suggested that this was how things were done "back in the day" aka the 70s.
 

jcd0805

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Follow the money. Mark Davis had the access and the financial incentive. Davis did not want to fire Gruden because of the legal shit show that would follow. He tried to force Gruden's hand to get him to resign based on the single email and Gruden refused thinking he could weather the storm. Davis leaked the additional emails to the Times and voila, Gruden's resignation appears that afternoon. I assume a resignation means Davis does not have to pay the balance of Gruden's contract. Just my own conspiracy theory.
I don't think Mark Davis looks smart enough to have figured that out.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don't think Mark Davis looks smart enough to have figured that out.
I would encourage anyone who isn't familiar with Davis to watch the recent HBO Real Sports piece on him. Its eye opening to say the least and it goes right in the mush of the narrative that Davis is just some trust fund kid with a bad haircut. I mean, he is exactly that but he is also so much more - he comes across as thoughtful, funny and he even addresses his hairstyle directly. He likes it even if everyone else thinks its a joke.

The NFL often appears to be factionalized and cliquey. Its certainly possible that Davis & the Raiders misread the situation or tried to get Gruden to resign but its also possible that this was a blindside of sorts - with a deliberate slow leak to maximize the pain. Based on the report I referenced, I get the sense that Davis is more highly regarded in NFL circles than people might think, however his father made lots of enemies so its not like the pool of potential leaking suspects is small.
 
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CaptainLaddie

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Think about all the times people of color have mentioned about police brutality. Now with cameras in everyone's pockets we see how often the police narrative doesn't at all match up with what actually happened.

Cell phone camera has to be one of the greatest inventions for transparency that has happened in a long time.
Mike Skinner -- in 2006, no less -- had a pair of funny opening lines about this before the start of "When You Wasn't Famous".

"Ahhh see right see the thing that's got it all fucked up now is camera-phones
How the hell am I supposed to be able to do a line in front of complete strangers, when I know They've all got cameras?"

Edit: for the record, I'm in favor of said transparency.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Because I do actually care about how we engage with each other and I find parroting phrases like "intent doesn't matter" to be counterproductive.
"Intent doesn't matter" originated as a response to the use of "But I didn't (or don't) mean anything by it!" as a defense or justification. "What I said was OK because I didn't mean for you to take it that way" or, worse, "When I say "X", I don't mean it in a racist way, so I'm just going to keep on saying"X" and you have no business being offended. Snowflake!"

It is a close cousin to the very common sort of "apology" we see that is basically "I'm sorry that what I said upset you" (as if the problem is not what I said but rather how you took it) or "I'm sorry you found out about this thing I did" which was more or less Gruden's "apology." In that way it is less apology and more doubling down.

There are ways it doesn't make sense, I agree.

The way I think about it is this: intent isn't an element of the offense (so to speak), though it can be an exacerbating or mitigating factor.
 

ManicCompression

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May 14, 2015
503
I'm aware of the origin and it's been explained many times in this way within this thread. The examples you cite, like the other examples cited by others who explain this, excludes people who actually apologize for their offense and mean it. As I have countered each if time, if you call someone a snowflake in rebuttal to their emotional response, you are not apologizing and you are intending to make that person feel worse. That makes quite a difference, no?

The way I think about it is this: intent isn't an element of the offense (so to speak), though it can be an exacerbating or mitigating factor.
Yes, this is precisely what I've been saying. Intent matters as bad intent exacerbates an incident and not bad intent mitigates it. There is important distinction between those two things when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

"Intent doesn't matter" is a useful catchphrase as now legions of people say it and try to explain it in such a way, but as we agree, it still doesn't make any sense. This is important because we, as liberal voters who are frightened of regressive conservative rule, are trying to build a coalition of people within a country of 330 million and a global society of 7 billion. Catchphrases that are hollow language inversions alienate large swaths of other voters - of all sexes, ethnicities, classes, education levels, etc. - who aren't super online because it asks them to unnecessarily sign onto bullshit that is provably incorrect and goes against what we inherently know about talking to another human being.

Look at this friggin' thread - I have posters insinuating that I'm racist AND transphobic and not on board with social progress simply because I won't go along with the phrase. Never mind that I haven't defended Gruden one bit or said anything about snowflakes or what have you. When the language of a movement becomes more important and more precious than the goals, I think we're starting to lose the thread a bit. I don't think that's a good thing, so I've shared as much, and hopefully one or two people see my POV.
 

BringBackMo

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Jul 15, 2005
212
That is, literally, not at all what he’s saying. And 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of humanity had no idea where the term grandfathered came from. And like pretty much all words, regardless of origin, was used by people in its present sense.
Then what is he saying? I am not being sarcastic. If he’s not saying that, then what is his point?

And he absolutely knew prior to his post that “grandfathered” is considered an offensive term. He literally said as much in his post. What does it say to you that he said he knew it was offensive but didn’t know why, then speculated that it was because it wa
@BringBackMo I asked you to send me a PM not because I'm scared of discussing things in public, but rather because the conversation seems to be derailing. I'm fine discussing things in public because I think my opinion is valid and it doesn't require me to denigrate a stranger whom I've never met over some short message board posts. This, apparently, has a lot of appeal to you as it gives you some kind of validation.

I'm not "triggered" by the phrase "intent doesn't matter." I find that it's counterproductive and I've explained why in several posts. It manipulates language and takes a well-known fact inherent in all interpersonal relationships and twists it into the opposite. It denies reality. RW himself admitted that it was an imperfect phrase and he was trying to capture something else. You even contradict yourself here



In that statement, Grandma is intending to continue to hurt someone's feelings, so yes, that is an issue! Surely it's different if she apologizes for her mistake, and surely it's different if she doesn't have that knowledge before she says anything out of step. If a person who just immigrated to the US and doesn't speak English well makes a faux pas in our current gender debate because they don't know any better or they can't communicate as well, clearly that is remarkably different from someone who intends to make another person feel worse with a comment. Like, this should be inarguable, yet you keep trying to twist into a pretzel because it's more important to you to make me into something I'm not than to engage with my argument.
I’m not making you into anything. I am responding to the things that you have said. You feel victimized but it seems to me that you simply have not considered how the things that you say create an impression of who you are. I know, I know: you’re going to tell me that I am twisting what you have said in order to create that impression. On that, we’ll just have to disagree once again.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
14,784
My two cents on the "intent doesn't matter" question (not that anyone is asking).

When my kids were little and playing outdoors, my oldest son swung a Wiffle bat and accidentally whacked his younger sister on the head. She was like 5 years old. Obviously started crying. My son's instant response was: "I didn't MEAN to do it!" Very defensive. I pointed out that it didn't matter that he didn't mean to do it; it still hurt his sister just as badly. I told him the right response was to say, "Oh wow I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to do that but man that must have hurt. Are you okay?" Empathize (I didn't use that word as he wouldn't have understood it at his age) with her in the moment. Then express how you'll try better next time to make sure nobody is around when you swing the bat because you don't want to hurt anyone.

But there's another piece to the story. My daughter was angry at her brother, not only because she was hurt, but also because she thought he meant to do it and thus was deliberately trying to hurt her. So I said to her (while hugging her), "Wait a minute. Your brother isn't a bad guy here. It's one thing to be hurt. It's another thing to think he's a bad person for hurting you. It was an accident."

So here's the moral of the story. From one perspective (the offender) it's important to empathize, to understand why what you did hurt someone else, regardless of intent. In that sense, intent simply does not matter. You've hurt someone, period. But from another perspective (which is also important), intent matters if we are going to vilify someone for what they did. I used the example of "trading block" a couple of days ago. If a guy in my fantasy football league says, "I'm putting Kyle Pitts on the trading block and am taking offers", I'm not going to think he's a villain for using a term with its roots in slavery. I'm going to think that he's generally a good guy that has no idea about its origin (like I had no idea for the longest time) and even if it bothers/offends me, while I may offer a correction, I'm not going to think he's a bad person for using that term innocently.

None of this has to do with Gruden or cases where people are deliberately being malicious. Just the "intent doesn't matter" issue. Part of why people say "I didn't mean to hurt anyone" is because what often comes their way is vilification for offending someone. All of us, if someone hurt us, would feel the pain a lot more if we knew they were deliberately trying to hurt us, as opposed to it being totally accidental. Pain still, yes, of course. But more pain (be it emotional, whatever) if we know they're doing it on purpose instead of accidentally.
 

ManicCompression

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May 14, 2015
503
And he absolutely knew prior to his post that “grandfathered” is considered an offensive term. He literally said as much in his post. What does it say to you that he said he knew it was offensive but didn’t know why, then speculated that it was because it wa
I had no idea before I posted what grandfathered meant. I don't know how I'd ever prove that, but I'm similar to 9/10 people who responded. I'm sorry I asked the question instead of googling it. I asked about the gender part as an honest theory of why it would be offensive and literally wrote "I'm not being flip". It wasn't a dig. So, I don't know what to say to you - you're reading something into this that's not there.

I’m not making you into anything. I am responding to the things that you have said. You feel victimized but it seems to me that you simply have not considered how the things that you say create an impression of who you are. I know, I know: you’re going to tell me that I am twisting what you have said in order to create that impression. On that, we’ll just have to disagree once again.
I don't feel victimized. I'm defending a position and each time I've done so with what I feel is some measure of logic and reason - others may disagree, but I certainly feel I've made that attempt. On the other hand, you feel the need to make insinuations and conjectures about who I am as a person from some posts that most everyone in this thread - once we dig into the details - agrees with. How comfortable are you in what you're saying if you can't make a point without trying to make some larger statement about my perceived morals?

As i stated above, if you're going to have this kind of vitriol for people who agree with everything you're saying about progress but don't want to sign onto meta-arguments about the confusing language of the movement, god help us.
 

Average Reds

Dope
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Dope
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Sep 24, 2007
32,650
Southwestern CT
This thread seemed to have gotten back on topic until the last run of posts.

Given the ongoing debate about intent, the history of racist phrases and other non-football topics, I'm going to copy a bunch of posts and create a new thread in V&N where we can discuss the larger political/societal implications of the Gruden emails and his subsequent firing. This thread will also remain open but will focus on the impact of Gruden's firing on the Raiders and the larger implications for the NFL.

https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/political-societal-implications-of-the-gruden-firing.34852/

Just to be clear - I did not delete any posts in this thread. I copied them to start the other thread. So if you want to respond to anything related to the history of racially-loaded phrases or whether/how "intent should or should not matter" go to V&N to do so. This thread will now get back to football.
 

Jungleland

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Aug 2, 2009
1,425
Not sure this is the right thread for this, but Washington just announced they're retiring Sean Taylor's number on Sunday. Absolutely despicable timing.
 

Van Everyman

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Apr 30, 2009
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Newton
I had read that Gruden shared images of WFT cheerleaders with Allen (seriously, wtf) and heard they were pornographic images but had not realized they were also taken illicitly:

According to Washington cheerleaders, who spoke with the Daily Beast on Tuesday, emails showing images of topless cheerleaders from a past swimsuit photo-shoot video were allegedly passed around by Gruden to then-Washington general manager Bruce Allen.


In the 10-minute video, first reported by The Washington Post in 2020, Washington staffers were allegedly instructed to take behind-the-scenes content at the swimsuit photo shoot, to package and create a video featuring only “the good bits” — reportedly of bare nipples and pubic areas while cheerleaders were changing clothes or moving around. According to the outlet, the video was shared with team owner Daniel Snyder, who later denied the allegations.



Melanie Coburn, a four-year Washington cheerleader and the squad’s marketing director for 10 years, created a petition Friday, aimed at the NFL and the franchise to “do the right thing for women” and “make Washington’s sexual misconduct investigation public.”


“It’s despicable, really, to see that there is more evidence of exploitation and violation of these cheerleaders who I worked very closely with,” Coburn told The Daily Beast, adding, “I know that there’s a lot more where these emails came from.”

On Tuesday, attorneys for 40 former WFT employees released a statement, calling for the NFL to release the full findings of its investigation.
https://nypost.com/2021/10/13/jon-gruden-scandal-washington-cheerleaders-furious-over-photos/

This is fucking disgusting. I’m beginning to think that the endgame here may be Snyder selling the team. It’s going to be really hard to keep any of this under wraps as stuff keeps dribbling out.