Raiders owner Mark Davis did not speak at Wednesday’s news conference. Davis’ only public comment about Jon Gruden’s resigantion was to ESPN on Wednesday, telling Paul Gutierrez, “I have no comment. Ask the NFL. They have all the answers.”
That left Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock in the unenviable position of standing in as the voice of the organization in the wake of Gruden’s departure. Gruden apologized Friday after the leak of a 2011 email in which Gruden used a racial trope in describing NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who is Black.
Gruden resigned Monday after another round of emails, which included misogynistic and anti-gay language directed at NFL personnel, were made public.
Judy Battista of NFL Media reports Davis was made aware of the additional emails from Gruden before the Raiders’ Week 5 game against the Bears, prompting a question to Mayock about why the team let Gruden coach Sunday.
“I think the reality of that is that Mark Davis really is the one that was dealing with that and I think he felt like, and I don’t want to speak for Mark, but there was an awful lot of due diligence that had to go on on his side of this,” Mayock said, via NFL Media. “All that I knew was a bombshell had been dropped. The players talked about it. We talked about it with the players. Jon dealt with it. . . . Again, Mark was dealing with all the email stuff. We were trying to prepare for a football game. When we came out of the game and the rest of it came out, I think Mark was already in the middle of his due diligence. I think he was trying to figure it all out, and again I know what the guy stands for and I think he was trying to do the right thing.”
Gruden was working for ESPN at the time he wrote the emails, which were discovered as part of the NFL’s investigation into workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team.
“I’ve talked to several of the Black players. We’ve reached out to a bunch of players, Black and white,” Mayock said. “Everybody’s got emotions and feelings. I’ve talked to some of the people in my department that are Black. My director of pro scouting [Dwayne Joseph], and I just said, ‘DJ, I can’t put myself in your shoes. Help me.’ So we’ve spent a pretty good amount of time trying to help these guys and talk with these guys and not talk at them, but with them.
“The other thing I would say is for Carl, let’s be honest, he’s a community of one that’s openly gay. We do have a large community of African-American players, and I’m trying to, we’re trying to do everything we can for that community as well, obviously. It started there. Nobody’s forgetting that. I’m trying to work with everyone, and we’re going to continue to do that.”