Jon Gruden is being dropped from the Madden NFL 22 video game after he resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders because it was reported that he used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in emails.
EA Sports tweeted Wednesday that it was “taking steps to remove” Gruden from the latest version of its popular pro football game and would “replace him with a general likeness via a title update in the coming weeks."
The game maker said it is “committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity.”
The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported that, from 2011-18 while he was an ESPN analyst between coaching jobs, Gruden used offensive terms in messages he wrote to former Washington club executive Bruce Allen.
Gruden stepped down Monday night during the fourth season of a 10-year, $10 million deal with the Raiders. He was 22-31 with no playoff appearances in his second stint with the team.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the club he led to a Super Bowl title nearly two decades ago, removed him from the Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday.
Tirico expresses disappointment in Gruden
NBC’s Mike Tirico, who was Gruden’s partner for seven years on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” expressed disappointment with Gruden’s behavior after Monday's revelation of more emails.
Tirico said on NBC’s “Football Night in America” on Sunday that he had not seen or experienced anything with Gruden that was racist in any way.
“The comments made Sunday on`Football Night in America' were specific to Jon Gruden’s email related to DeMaurice Smith and addressed my personal experiences with Jon regarding any racist actions or behaviors. As I said on air, his ’comments are wrong’,” Tirico said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “The content and nature of the subsequently released emails is deplorable, disappointing and express sentiments that have no place in our society.”
Tirico worked with Gruden from 2009 through 2015. Gruden remained with ESPN until he was hired by the Raiders in 2018.
Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy also said on Sunday’s show he didn’t think Gruden’s emails about Smith had racial undertones but that it was an inappropriate attack on a man’s character. Dungy said on social media Monday night after more emails came out that the Raiders did the appropriate thing in moving on from Gruden.
“That being said, if Jon Gruden shows TRUE remorse-and more importantly changes his mindset and actions-I would forgive him,” Dungy said on Twitter. “As Christians that’s what the Bible commands us to do because that’s what God does for us. I know that’s not popular, but it’s biblical.”
Dungy was fired as Tampa Bay’s coach after the 2001 season and was replaced by Gruden.
Travis Pittman contributed to this report.