There’s no reason to believe Tony Dungy and Mike Tirico were anything less than sincere when they came to Jon Gruden’s defense last weekend based largely on their years of personal experiences with him.
Tirico was Gruden’s broadcast partner on Monday Night Football, including at the time Gruden sent an e-mail to Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen using racist language to describe NFL Players association president DeMaurice Smith. Dungy, who is now a broadcaster with NBC, preceded Gruden as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s no surprise that those two men failed to process Gruden’s e-mail about Smith as evidence of a larger problem with bigotry because it didn’t line up with their personal experiences.
“I was with Jon at that time,” Tirico said. “Seven years as my partner on Monday Night Football. I probably know Jon better than anybody in the league on a personal level. He said it right, he was ashamed by the comments in the e-mail. The comments in the e-mail are wrong. But, my experience kind of parallels Tim Brown, who played for Jon and is a Hall of Fame receiver. He said he never experienced or saw anything that would say Jon was racist in any way. That is exactly the experience I had, those seven years of traveling, three days together on the road together every week.”
Those words certainly look naïve, at best, after more e-mails full of homophobic and misogynist language emerged in a New York Times report on Monday night, prompting Gruden to step down. And the reason Tirico and Gruden look so foolish today is because they allowed their assessment of Gruden to overshadow a fundamental truth about bigots: Most of them are pretty good at hiding their bigotry.
It’s no surprise that Gruden didn’t make racist statements around Tirico or Dungy, who are both Black. Of course Gruden wasn’t going to use homophobic slurs in the Raiders…
Source : yahoo