Commentator and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy has changed his tune on the scandal surrounding Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s offensive emails.
But as the extent of Jon Gruden’s use of racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language came to light, Tony Dungy said in a Tweet Tuesday morning that he had changed his mind.
But Dungy still said that if Jon Gruden showed “true remorse” and “changes his mindset” that the former Colts coach would still forgive him.
“I know that’s not popular, but it’s biblical,” Dungy opined.
Dungy’s comments Sunday night were criticized almost immediately by those who saw his call to “move on” as letting Jon Gruden off the hook for his inappropriate and crude emails. In the broadcast, Tony Dungy said he believed Gruden’s claim that his comments in the originally-leaked email about NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith were not racial.
“[Gruden] basically attacked [Smith’s] character,” Dungy said. “I will accept that, and just say, you know what, it was an immature way to do it, it wasn’t the right way to do it, but it was ten years ago, and I’m not going to chalk everything up to racism.”
He continued: “I think we [should] accept his apology, move forward, and move on, just like he did with his team.”
Dungy’s cohost on the broadcast, NBC‘s Mike Tirico, agreed — saying that he knew Gruden well and did not believe that the Las Vegas Raiders coach was racist.
Tirico has also reconsidered his Sunday comments in light of the newly leaked emails.
“The content and nature of the subsequently released emails is deplorable, disappointing and express sentiments that have no place in our society,” he told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
The scandal surrounding Jon Gruden’s use of inappropriate language — which culminated in his resignation on Monday — first emerged Friday, when the Wall Street Journal reported on the 2011 email that included a comment about DeMaurice Smith’s lips.
Gruden issued an apology in the paper the same day. The Raiders coach also claimed that he did not intend the comment as a racial slight, but that it was a clumsy metaphor about Smith’s supposed dishonesty.
“I used a horrible way of explaining it,” he 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.”
On Sunday, Jon Gruden acknowledged that he had also used homophobic language in a crude message about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Later that day, in a press conference following his team’s loss to the Chicago Bears, Gruden again insisted that the DeMaurice comments were not racially charged, and again apologized.
“I’m not a racist,” he told reporters. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. […] I had no racial intention with those remarks at all. I’m not like that at all. I apologize. I don’t want to keep addressing it.”
That night, Tony Dungy accepted his apology.
On Monday morning, a New York Times report revealed that Gruden “casually and frequently unleashed misogynistic and homophobic language” via email for years.
By the end of the night, Jon Gruden had resigned. “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” he said in a brief statement. “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”