Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Shell, who has been a part of the Raiders franchise for decades as a former player and coach, has spoken in regards to the damning emails sent by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
“It’s disappointing that someone would put themselves in a position to do that,” Shell told Tashan Reed of The Athletic in reaction to Gruden’s emails. “He hurt a lot of people. He hurt himself, too.”
Gruden, whose emails from 2011-2018 were revealed to have homophobic, misogynistic and racist comments in them, resigned Monday.
The emails were uncovered by the league as part of an investigation involving the Washington Football Team and were reported by The New York Times, including the use of a homophobic slur used to describe league commissioner Roger Goodell and denouncing the hiring of female officials.
Art Shell coached the Raiders from 1989-94 in Los Angeles and again in 2006 in Oakland.
The Wall Street Journal reporter that Gruden used a racist trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
“I mean, I think everybody’s shocked,” continued Shell. “I was in shock. I said, ‘What?’ I couldn’t believe it. And it’s an unfortunate thing. But you gotta live with the consequences of what you do. He’d going to pay a price. He’s paid it already. He’s going to pay more.”
REACTION: DeMaurice Smith opens up on Jon Gruden, racism in the NFL and more
OPINION: Jon Gruden’s emails not just an NFL problem. They’re symbolic of societal white grievance.
The Raiders were the first team in the modern NFL to hire a Black head coach – Shell, in 1989 – and the first team to hire a woman as Chief executive – Amy Trask in 1997. Carl Nassib, a Raiders defensive end also became the first active player in the history of the league to come out as gay.
“It’s just an unfortunate thing that in today’s world those kinds of thoughts are out there,” said Shell. “You’d like to think the world is changing. But for some, it’s not. And to put it out there like that? Wow. That was just astonishing to me.”
Contact Analis Bailey at [email protected] or on Twitter @analisbailey.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Art Shell, former Raiders player, coach, reacts to Jon Gruden emails