Basketball

Raiders’ Derek Carr on Jon Gruden: ‘I love the man, I hate the sin’


Raiders players and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since head coach Jon Gruden resigned Monday after emails surfaced recently where Gruden used racist, homophobic and sexist language over several years while working as an analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

“I love the man, I hate the sin,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “No one’s perfect, if we just started opening up everyone’s private emails and texts people would start sweating … Hopefully not too many, but maybe that’s what they should do for all coaches and GMs and owners from now and see what happens.”

Defensive end Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly gay player, took an excused personal day away from the team Wednesday.

No one from the Raiders — general manager Mike Mayock, coaches or players — pointed to the Gruden situation as the reason for losing in Week 5 to the Bears. But tight end Darren Waller admitted being conflicted heading into last Sunday’s game. At that time, only Gruden’s use of a racial trope when referring to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith had become public.

Waller said he didn’t take it personally that Gruden resigned after the second phase of the emails had been reported, rather than having the racist remark be enough for action by the team or Gruden.

“He (Gruden) came into the room and admitted and explained his thinking behind it (the first email),” Waller said. “I was not OK that this was going on. I was still a little bit bothered by it. But at the same time, I was like, OK I understand how he may have took what he was trying to say or communicate a little too far. I’m not necessarily bothered by that, the racism wasn’t enough racism and was being overlooked per se. I just feel in that moment, a lot of people didn’t know what to do. We’ve got a game in a couple of days. What do we do here?”

Waller also said he carries a sense of not wanting to completely shun Gruden.

“I’m somebody that comes from the space that I want to offer grace and allow them to learn from what they may have done. … I know a lot of people may want to cancel him,” Waller said. “And I understand that. What he said was inexcusable. But at the same time, where do we offer grace for him to learn and grow and then be able to be in the circles that he was with to be in those people that he was emailing with and say, ‘That’s not right.’”

Meanwhile, Bisaccia will become a first-time NFL head coach as the Raiders head to Denver for their Week 6 matchup against the Broncos. He said offensive coordinator Greg Olson will take over the playcalling duties, which Gruden held previously.

Still, Bisaccia’s major NFL coaching moment has come because of Gruden’s actions.

“It’s no secret we’ve been together a long time we’ve been friends, he’s changed my life, hired me back in ’02,” Bisaccia said. “The last night wasn’t good for him, it wasn’t good for us and since then I’m sure he’s gotta go through and face and deal with the consequences of whatever he has to do. I’m still a friend of coach Gruden’s but we haven’t had any dialogues since that night. It was an extremely emotional night for all of us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit again. I think he’s probably gonna leave me alone and wish that we do the best.”

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)





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