Former Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden will be removed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor inside Raymond Jones Stadium, the team announced Tuesday.
The team’s statement reads “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” according to NFL.com. “While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor,” the statement continues.
Gruden announced Monday that he was resigning as Raiders head coach after emails surfaced from years earlier, where he allegedly described the NFL Player’s Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith as having “lips the size of Michelin tires.” The email was sent as the league and the NFLPA were attempting to end the 2011 lockout, according to CBS Sports, when Gruden was working for ESPN.
Gruden apologized for criticizing Smith this way, saying that “I never had a racial thought when I used it. ... I'm embarrassed by what's out there. I certainly never meant for it to sound that bad,” CBS Sports adds.
Gruden coached the Buccaneers from 2002 to 2008 and led them to a Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the then-Oakland Raiders.
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