Gruden resigned after reports emerged of him using homophobic, racist and misogynistic language in emails while he worked as an ESPN analyst.
He led the Buccaneers to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in the 2002 season, beating the then-Oakland Raiders, but has now been removed from the team’s ring of honor membership.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team said in a statement.
“While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
Critics had called for Gruden, who has coached the Raiders since the beginning of the 2018 season, to be fired since The Wall Street Journal reported he used racially insensitive language to describe NFL Players Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email.
On Monday, the New York Times reported it reviewed more emails and found Gruden denounced women being employed as on-field officials, a team drafting an openly gay player and the tolerance for national anthem protesters.
The Times said the emails were sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team, over a seven-year period, causing many to question why he was allowed to stay in his role for so long. Allen was fired by the organization in December 2019.
On Friday, an NFL spokesperson said the email reported in the Wall Street Journal was unearthed as part of an NFL review of workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team that took place this summer.
CNN has reached out again to Gruden, the NFL and the Raiders for comment.
A spokesperson from the NFLPA told CNN the union plans to request that the NFL make public the full finding of the investigation into workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team.
Smith told USA Today that there is “potential for good” to come from this situation.
“It took a long time for the league to recognize that they had not listened to the players and addressed their concerns about why players were kneeling or why players were actively becoming engaged in social justice issues,” he said.
“Maybe there is the potential here for recognizing that there are people within our system that engage in or support ideas that we know are inconsistent with fairness and justice and equality, and maybe if we can embrace that quicker, then it gives us an opportunity to understand and fix what I believe are systemic problems in diverse hiring in the league.”
‘That sh*t doesn’t fly’
The NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player, Aaron Rodgers, weighed in on Gruden’s resignation, saying: “Those opinions don’t have a place in the game.”
“It was surprising to see that the thing went so quickly, but I think that was probably the best decision for all parties involved,” he said on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, we can all as a league learn and grow from this. Hopefully, it puts people on notice who have some of those same opinions. Like: ‘Hey man, it’s time to grow and evolve and change and connect.’ That sh*t doesn’t fly.”
NFL reporter Ian Rapoport told CNN on Tuesday that Gruden had no other option but to resign as head coach, saying he had lost his credibility within the Raiders locker room, especially given that Carl Nassib – who became the first active NFL player in league history to announce that he is gay earlier this year – plays for the team.
And Green Bay Packers quarterback Rodgers believes that the views expressed in Gruden’s emails aren’t ones that are felt in locker rooms around the league.
“I can say with real honesty and pride that I don’t feel like those are opinions that are shared by players,” the 37-year-old said.
“I feel like in the locker room it’s a close-knit group of guys, and we don’t treat people differently based on the way that they talk, where they’re from, what they’re into, what they look like, and I’m proud of that.”