EA Sports said it will remove former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden from Madden NFL 2022. The longtime NFL coach resigned earlier this week after reports said he used racist and homophobic language in emails years ago.
The gaming giant said it will replace Jon Gruden with a “generic likeness” in the coming weeks.
“EA Sports is committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity. Due to the circumstances of Jon Gruden’s resignation, we are taking steps to remove him from Madden NFL 22,” the statement reads. “We will replace him with a generic likeness via a title update in the coming weeks.”
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Jon Gruden used a racist stereotype to describe the executive director of the NFL Players Association Dumboriss Smith in a 2011 email. Gruden apologized, but days later the New York Times reported that email was not an outlier. In a series of messages that spanned years to a Washington Football Team executive, Gruden repeatedly used homophobic and misogynistic slurs. They also shared topless photos of the Football Team’s cheerleaders that were reportedly taken without the women’s knowledge.
In the emails, the Times reported Gruden referred to NFL commissioners Roger Goodell as an “anti football p****y” and a “f****t,” according to Sports Illustrated. He also claimed that the league pressured the then St. Louis Rams to draft Michael Sam, a gay player, in 2014. Former Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher denied that happened.
Gruden stepped down as Raiders head coach following the Times report. He said he didn’t want to be a distraction for his former team and players.
Raiders Quarterback Responds to Coach’s Resignation
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said Wednesday that he loves his former coach but hated what he said.
“I love the man. I hate the sin.” Carr said.
Carr added that the NFL should “open up everything” and examine emails from all coaches and GMs.
“No one’s perfect, if we just started opening up everyone’s private emails and texts people would start sweating a little … maybe that’s what they should do for all coaches and GMs and owners from now on,” he said. “Got to open up everything and see what happens. You hate the action. You hate it. You’re not supposed to like it, but you love the person and I love the person.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Remove Jon Gruden From Ring of Honor
Jon Gruden won a championship with Tampa Bay in 2003, beating the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. The Buccaneers added him to its Ring of Honor for that accomplishment. But the team said it will remove his name from Raymond James Stadium, following his exit from Las Vegas.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity, and inclusion for many years,” the team said in a statement. “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.”
Though the team will not play at home until Oct. 24, the Buccaneers removed Gruden’s name from the stadium as of Thursday.