LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — ESPN and the Wall Street Journal have both reported Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden sent an email with racially insensitive language about NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in July 2011.
According to the reports, in the email, Gruden said Smith had "lips the size of Michelin tires."
Gruden told ESPN he used the term "rubber lips" to "refer to a guy I catch as lying."
The coach went on to apologize and say "I'm ashamed I insulted D. Smith. I never had a racial thought when I used it. I'm embarrassed by what's out there. I certainly never meant for it to sound that bad."
Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement after the news reports came out.
“The content of an email regarding DeMaurice Smith from Jon Gruden when he worked for ESPN 10 years ago is disturbing and not what the Raiders stand for," Davis said in the statement. "We were first made aware of the email late yesterday by a reporter and are reviewing it along with other materials provided to us today by the NFL.
"We are addressing the matter with Coach Gruden and will have no further comment at this time.”