NFL legend Randy Moss gave emotional remarks on his reaction to the Jon Gruden email fallout on Sunday ahead of the league’s Week 5 slate of games.
Moss, who played with the Raiders after the Gruden era, put the NFL on notice telling his ESPN colleagues that the “clock is ticking for the league.”
Randy Moss #18 of the Oakland Raiders looks to the sidelines during the game against the New York Jets on December 18, 2005 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Raiders 26-10. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
“Now we have a bump of the road from leadership coming from above from our head coach. So how can we focus on going into a game where we’re uncertain where this is going or what direction our team is going in? … We’re going into the 21st century, OK? Instead of us moving forward, we’re moving backward. And I really don’t know what percentage of the National Football League is Black but I know it’s over 50%, 60-70%. And I know we generate a whole lotta money for this National Football League and for you to hear Adam Schefter talk about some discipline from [Mark] Davis, the clock is ticking,” Moss said.
“We are watching to see what the National Football League is going to do about this because like I just said, we’re trying to move forward going into the 21st century with the National Football League and you’re talking about the kids from 10, 15 years from now that’s going to come into the league, what is this showing them? If they’re coming in to try and keep this National Football League going, generating all this money and being this entertainment for our country. Where are we heading?
“So, today, going against the Bears, this locker room Sam is totally divided because it’s time and time again we gotta continue to hear about race. Ya’ll sit up here and hear me talk year in and year out about the brotherhood. I really appreciate the brotherhood because it helps me gain and have relationships with guys I woulda never had met in my whole lifetime. That’s what the National Football League gave me.
Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 19, 2021 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
“But for now and for us to go with the move from Oakland to Las Vegas – ’10, ’11, ’15 I don’t care when it is – you have a leader of an organization that’s leading a group of men from different walks of life, of different nationalities and racism is a big concern … I don’t know where the Raiders move from here but the clock is ticking for the National Football League.”
Moss appeared to weep a bit when he continued on.
“National Football League, this hurts me.”
Gruden came under fire Friday after it was revealed he used racist language in a 2011 email describing NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith while he was a commentator at ESPN.
Gruden’s email was obtained by The Wall Street Journal and included remarks about Smith’s facial features.
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” Gruden wrote in the email, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Gruden told The Wall Street Journal he was angry at the time at the direction of the players, which were led by Smith. He claimed in the past he had referred to people who he believed were lying as “rubber lips” and that he took things “too far.”
FILE – In this c, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks at the annual state of the union news conference in Miami Beach, Fla. The NFL reacted strongly and quickly Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, to a report that Jon Gruden used a racist comment about Smith in an email 10 years ago. A Wall Street Journal story noted that Gruden, then working for ESPN and now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
“I was upset. I used a horrible way of explaining it,” Gruden said.
“I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar. I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years.”