Kyle Shanahan on Jon Gruden: You are accountable for everything you say

Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers
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Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders after emails surfaced that included racist, misogynistic and anti-gay language directed at NFL personnel.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan got his first NFL job when Gruden hired him in Tampa. Shanahan served as an offensive quality control coach for the Bucs in 2004-05.

Shanahan provided a lengthy response when asked about Gruden during his weekly appearance on KNBR on Tuesday.

“I think it’s a lesson for everybody,” Shanahan said on his radio show, via “I mean, not just people in sports. I mean, it’s not OK to think those things, and it’s definitely not OK to say those things. When you’re in the limelight and stuff, whether it’s sports or anything else, but when more people know you, there’s a little more of a responsibility to that. And you’re going to have to pay the consequences when you do something wrong like that. And it is unfortunate.

“But I think that happens to kids. I show it to my kids. You’re accountable for everything that you say, [everything] that comes out of your mouth. And when you put something down on paper, whatever it is, electronic paper, you’re accountable forever. Look what it did to someone like Jon. And that happens to kids in schools. That happens to people all over. It’s on a much bigger scale when I guess you’re famous or something like that. But that’s the world we live in. You’ve got to realize that it’s not right. Just because you have a bad moment, don’t think that’s OK to do. You can be held accountable forever on that.

“Just, the whole situation makes me sad. It’s not just Jon, but when you’re a head coach, you’re in charge of a lot of families. A lot of people move there and stuff because you hire them and things like that. It affects a lot of people — all the other coaches in that building, the personnel people, the players. I know they’ve got an interim coach now and stuff, but I feel for a lot of the families who are like, ‘Well, what does this mean for us? We just moved here a few months ago. What’s going to happen?’ Things like that. It’s not just Jon. It affects the whole building.”

20 responses to “Kyle Shanahan on Jon Gruden: You are accountable for everything you say

  1. I mean, it’s not OK to think those things.
    Really, shanahan? You’re going to be the thought police now?

  2. I wonder if he has any emails from a decade ago. Then again Shanahan is a weasel so this response doesn’t shock me.

  3. If Kyle Shanahan is so gung-ho about going in the email time machine. Then let’s do it, let’s see what jokes or off the cuff statements he has said amongst friends. There is not a single person on Earth that is 100% clean if this scrutiny is applied to email/text. We all grow each day and can look back and saw wow that was pretty stupid to say.

  4. Unless the staff & personnel people are fired with cause, they will be paid every remaining cent owed to them as agreed to in their employment contracts. They are going to be okay, Kyle. You can put that in writing.

  5. The comments here are sort of boggling.
    If people are making those comments in the past 10 years, you should lose your job.
    It is not 1970.
    The behavior is not acceptable.
    Comments like that will get you fired from any job.

  6. You guys make a good point that we all have past baggage and that it can be a slippery slope, but I think the big difference with Gruden is that he represents the entire franchise as well as the city, and also works with many black players and coaches and the only openly gay player in the league. While no one really cares what you wrote on myspace back in 11th grade.

  7. I think anyone with even a partially functional brain would know to not put stuff like that in an email. And what was leaked is probably the tip of the iceberg. Gruden sounds like Archie Bunker, and we need a lot less of that mentality everywhere, not just the NFL.

  8. Everyone has to be accountable, including the judge that granted access to these emails to Dan Snyder’s attorney’s. If Al Davis was still around, there would be a billion dollar lawsuit going down right now, and a judge being recalled. Davis was a lawyer, and he never lost at anything. He also hired the first Hispanic head coach, the first black head coach, the first black G.M., and the first female president. Nobody would be playing the race card on him. He wrote the book on civil rights. Jon Gruden hired the first openly gay NFL player. Roger Goodell would be shaking in his boots. He would bow to Al Davis. The Raiders are the last organization on earth that should be witch hunted.

  9. “I mean, it’s not OK to think those things”

    This is just as bad as thinking those things.

  10. Using a work email to write insensitive things to another person’s work email is pretty stupid. He got what he deserves for not just what he wrote but how he did it.

  11. It’s pretty funny watching all these people try to defend Jon. Like he wrote 1 stupid statement and sent it to a NFL team’s email address. And not 7 years worth of numerous disparaging emails ticking off nearly the gamut of minority groups in the process.

  12. Luckily Shanahan has never said or written anything bad about anyone. He’s a saint, and will ascend directly to heaven when he dies.

  13. @gmen5280 – so as long as you’re willing to agree that something you’ve said is stupid, there should be no consequences? THAT’S the better world?
    Gruden WASN’T joking. That’s the point. He was being himself. A 48 year old man who is never shy about publicly voicing opinions that are clearly in direct conflict with his private commentary. now that his hypocrisy is exposed, it’s a bunch of excuses. He had an opportunity to come clean and get in front of this and he tried to act like it was an isolated incident. He’s STILL the same guy who thinks the same way and his attempted explanation exposes that.

  14. My guess is that a lot of the people who don’t think Gruden should be accountable for the things he said are some of the same people who agree with Kaepernick being blackballed by the NFL for his anthem protests. Just a little food for thought.

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