When Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid met with the media for the first time on Wednesday, October 13, since Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned following an email leak — reported by The Wall Street Journal and New York Times — that detailed racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments from Gruden, it was natural that Reid would be asked about the situation.
However, before he could even be asked, Kansas City’s head coach acknowledged the elephant in the room.
“I’m sure I’m going to be asked by somebody about Jon Gruden’s situation,” Reid said in his opening statement.
But instead of sharing his feelings about the situation, Reid put to rest any questions that were going to be asked about Gruden.
“I’m not going to get into that,” he said, via FOX 4 Kansas City’s Rob Collins. “I think all around it’s a tough deal, but I’m just going to stay away from that. I just appreciate the courtesy likewise. There’s nothing going to be gained by me with my remarks.”
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Why Reid’s Remarks Are Troubling
Deflecting any questions that were going to be asked regarding Gruden before they were asked is, let’s call it — a safe maneuver for Reid. Doing such left no room for someone to over evaluate Reid’s remarks, whether it be in favor or against him. However, choosing to not comment on the situation at all is even more troubling for Kansas City’s head coach.
Instead of condemning the comments of Gruden, Reid instead chose to not take a stance at all, which was a choice not to use his platform as an opportunity to condemn hateful speech.
That is a wasted — and more so a missed — opportunity for Big Red. As a well-respected coach, one who will eventually go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time, this was the perfect opportunity to be at the forefront of a battle against racism, homophobia, and misogyny. However, Reid opted to watch the battle from the sidelines this time around.
Brandon Staley, a first-year head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers, handled the situation in a much different manner. He was asked about Gruden on Wednesday, October 13, during his first press conference after Gruden’s resignation, and had a very thoughtful response.
“Perspective and trust in this world are really, really difficult to achieve,” Staley said. “I think about all the people that were affected by those emails — whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re a person, you know, a gender, your sexual orientation. That’s who I’m thinking about because it’s a sacred mantle for someone to call you coach or someone to call you a leader.”
Compared to Staley’s, Reid’s comments — or lack thereof — were disappointing, to say the least.
Raiders GM Mike Mayock Breaks Silence on Gruden
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock held a press conference on Wednesday, October 13 for the first time since Gruden’s resignation. His overall message was that of the organization which has been echoed to him by owner Mark Davis ever since he became GM in 2019.
“Since the day I took this job almost three years ago, what Mr. Davis has preached has been three things: diversity, social justice, and [addressing] domestic violence,” said Mayock. “In regards to the Jon Gruden situation, we all respect [Davis’] decisions and we’re going to move ahead accordingly.”
Mayock also praised Rich Bisaccia, Las Vegas’ interim head coach.
“I’ve endorsed him for a lot of head coaching jobs over the years, both in college and in the NFL back when I had a different job,” Mayock said of Bisaccia, who has been coaching for 38 years and has been in the NFL since 2002, per CBS Sports. “He’s got as much respect in our locker room as any coach I’ve ever seen in my life. And the reason he does … is he a great coach? Hell yeah. But he’s an even better man. … He’s the most natural leader of men that I’ve ever been around.”