Raiders owner Mark Davis has come a long way from having no comment about the resignation of coach Jon Gruden.
“I have no comment,” Davis said on Wednesday before adding this: “Ask the NFL. They have all the answers.”
After Sunday’s win over the Broncos, Davis had more to say, via Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. But the latest words from Davis had a different ring that his apparent frustration with the league office from four days earlier.
“Listen, the Raiders stand for diversity, inclusion and social justice,” Davis said. “We always have and we always will. The emails that came out are not what we stand for and so Jon Gruden is no longer head coach. There’s not much more I can say. All the talking heads are making up all sorts of stuff. That’s all it is. We don’t stand for it.”
One of the “talking heads” to whom Davis apparently was referring is Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Although he provided a very basic and bare-bones summary of the situation on the pregame show that preceded Sunday morning’s Dolphins-Jaguars game from London, La Canfora posted something far more unfiltered (or perhaps less filtered) at the CBS website.
Wrote La Canfora of Davis, “He thinks the league office is out to get him. He thinks it’s a hit job.”
Many believe that Gruden would still be coaching the Raiders if the 650,000 secret Washington Football Team emails had remained secret. That if the league had simply sent the materials to the Raiders with no leaks, Davis wouldn’t have fired Gruden or asked him to resign. The leaks, starting on October 8 an continuing on October 11, make Gruden’s ongoing employment untenable. The leaks either came from the league or someone in a very small group of people who had access to the emails.
Whether it would have been right or wrong for Davis to keep Gruden, it’s fair to wonder whether Davis would have turned his team upside down absent the intense public scrutiny that came from the leaks. Even if things would have ended up in the same spot, Davis has a right to be upset that someone forced his hand by leaking the secret emails to the media.