John Gruden gave Rams head coach Sean McVay his first job in the NFL. He advised McVay and the two coaches remained close.
But McVay said Wednesday that he was shocked and saddened by the contents of emails discovered during an investigation into the Washington football team, which led to Gruden’s resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Racial, homophobic and misogynistic comments were included by Gruden in an email exchange with former Washington executive Bruce Allen, reports The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
“I haven’t seen that side of him,” McVay said, “and I was surprised by it.”
McVay, preparing his team for Sunday’s road game against the New York Giants, apparently speculated that he would be asked about Gruden.
He opened his news conference with questions trying to come to the fore.
“It’s a really unfortunate situation that has happened to the Raiders and Coach Gruden,” McVay said. “I hated that so many people were negatively affected by this. Thoughts and prayers are with all those who are.
“And really just want to leave it at that and we’re focusing on the giants.”
But McVay spent much of his 12-minute session fielding questions about the position.
McVay said he had no contact with Gruden after that. McVay, Washington’s assistant from 2010 to 2016, said he had not been contacted by the NFL as part of the Washington football team investigation.
He said he was “sad” about the email. He was asked to clarify whether he was sad about the material or sad for Gruden.
“All of the above,” said McVay. “I think it’s a really unfortunate circumstance. So I’m sad for a lot of people who have been negatively affected. Whoever has been hurt by this. There’s a lot of families out there, a lot of things that go into it.” And there are many people who have been affected by it. And that’s what makes me sad.
“It’s a sad comment all around. It’s unfortunate that we’re even talking about it right now.”