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ESPN doesn't seem to care that Jon Gruden's bigoted emails were sent when he was the network's highest-paid on-air talent

  • "Gruden was the color guy for Monday Night Football when he sent all of those emails," says Drew Magary. "He sent many of them FROM his ESPN work address. He was ESPN’s highest paid on-air talent. His boothmate at ESPN, Mike Tirico, was himself no stranger to wanton lechery and mounted a hollow 'well I never saw him be racist' defense of Gruden on Sunday night that looks even more hollow right now. And what has been ESPN’s reaction to this news? See for yourself": “The comments are clearly repugnant under any circumstance," ESPN said in a statement. "That’s it," says Magary. "That weaka** statement represents the entirety of ESPN’s due diligence on Gruden, without a second thought, reducing DeMaurice Smith to a racial caricature, accusing Roger Goodell of forcing the Rams to draft 'queers' like Michael Sam, calling Joe Biden a 'p*ssy,' dumping on female refs and trading topless photos of WFT cheerleaders with the dude who ran that team." Magary adds: "This has been a pattern at ESPN for a good long time now. Nothing all that bad happens to a lot of their worst talent, because the people who employ that on-air talent enjoy similar, shall we say, ethical vices. Current network president Jimmy Pitaro is a man who’s gutted the production side of the operation while also infamously enforcing an internal policy prohibiting ESPN stars from venturing too far afield when commenting on issues outside of sports. But really, Pitaro’s ascent is symptomatic of the network’s perpetual coziness with the leagues they cover, the NFL in particular."


    • ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter is now ensnared in the email controversy involving Jon Gruden: Most of Gruden's offensive emails were sent to then-Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen that were uncovered as part of an investigation into the team's toxic workplace culture According to the Los Angeles Times, the investigation unearthed an email Schefter sent Allen in 2011 asking him to read and weigh in on an unpublished story -- a journalistic no-no. “Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote Allen. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am ….” ESPN released the following statement in response to the correspondence: “Without sharing all the specifics of the reporter’s process for a story from 10 years ago during the NFL lockout, we believe that nothing is more important to Adam and ESPN than providing fans the most accurate, fair and complete story.”
    • Mike Tirico responds to Jon Gruden's ouster after defending him Sunday night: "The comments made Sunday Football Night in America were specific to Jon Gruden's email related to DeMaurice Smith and addressed my personal experiences with Jon regarding any racist actions or behavior," the NBC Sports broadcaster said in a statement. "As I sad on air, his 'comments are wrong.' The content and nature of the subsequently released emails is deplorable, disappointing and express sentiments that have no place in our society."
    • Jon Gruden *is* the NFL: "The biggest problem with Gruden’s remarks, as the league should be concerned, is not that the ex-coach does not represent the NFL’s ideals," says Alex Kirshner. "It should be that with every breath he draws, Gruden exhibits those ideals almost by default. Gruden is a more comprehensive encapsulation of an NFL poster boy than almost anyone else on Earth. That a man in his position would crumble in this fashion says more about the league itself than Goodell could ever admit."

    TOPICS: Jon Gruden, ESPN, Adam Schefter, Mike Tirico, NFL