Sean McVay “surprised” by Jon Gruden emails, resignation

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Many regard Rams coach Sean McVay as a young version of former Raiders coach Jon Gruden. That’s a comparison McVay surely would like to see end, given recent events.

Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, McVay (who got his start in the NFL working for Gruden in Tampa) was asked about Gruden’s resignation and the circumstances leading to it. McVay initially tried to keep it simple and move past the topic, but the questions kept coming.

“I just think it’s a really unfortunate circumstance,” McVay said eventually. “So, I’m sad for the many people that have been negatively affected, anybody that was offended by this. There’s a lot of families. There’s a lot of things that go into this and there’s a lot of people that have been affected and that’s what I’m sad about. It’s kind of a sad commentary all around and it’s an unfortunate thing that we’re even talking about it right now.”

McVay said he hasn’t spoken to Gruden since the situation arose six days ago, and that the situation surprised him.

“All I know is I can only speak on my individual interactions with him,” McVay said. “I haven’t seen any of those types of things that you would expect that kind of stuff to come out in writing or whatever. We are responsible for the things that we do say, but I have not seen that side of him and I was surprised by that.”

Many will be surprised by the fact that neither McVay nor the coach for whom he worked in Washington, Jay Gruden, were interviewed by the legal team that investigated the years of actual and/or alleged workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team. Jay Gruden recently said that, despite his status as head coach from 2014 through 2019, he wasn’t contacted as part of the 10-month probe.

McVay, who worked for the team in various capacities from 2010 through 2016, said Wednesday that he was not contacted.

“I like to believe that people are innately good, and I also think — I know for myself — there’s mistakes that people make, that I’ve made,” McVay said Wednesday. “Nobody’s perfect. I think there is something to be said for mercy, for grace and for forgiveness. . . . I’ve been raised to love people, to care about people. [I] came from a great situation where my family taught me right from wrong. I haven’t always been perfect, but I do think with the platform that I’m so fortunate and blessed to be able to have, it’s about bringing people together, building people up, helping them maximize their highest potential, but also be the best person they can possibly be. That’s something that I’m committed to trying to do and that’s what we’ll always try to do here.”

More coaches operate like McVay than Jon Gruden. However, with only a few emails from 650,000 harvested as part of the WFT investigation released and each of them oozing with poisonous terms and thoughts, it’s impossible to confirm that.

This makes full disclosure of the emails even more imperative. Those who care about the sport have a right to know more about what did and didn’t happen. The explanations given by the league to justify hiding the information in July don’t hold water. Especially after some of those emails were used to engineer the resignation of Jon Gruden.