Andre Rison, who played for the Oakland Raiders in 2002, says Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, is not a racist.
Amid racist, sexist and homophobic emails allegedly leaked by Gruden, Rison told TMZ, "We all say some things behind closed doors that we regret or would not say in public. We all made mistakes. "
He continued, "I believe who he said and what he said and who he meant it for, it was meant for that person and no one else."
Rison also had a message direct to Gruden: "You've already given this game some of the best guardianship and guidance it could possibly give. So if you never touch the game again, you're feeling like you're not in any way getting on with your life and enjoy it with the rest of the Gruden family. "
RELATED: NFL teams "interested" in signing Colin Kaepernick after nearly four years of absence from football
Jon Gruden officially resigned from his post as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after a series of emails leaked out in which he repeatedly used homophobic and mysoginist language.
According to CBS Sports, Gruden has already been investigated by the NFL over a 2011 email racially criticizing the NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. Gruden also used mundane language to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"I have resigned as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders," said Gruden, 58, in an October 11 statement. “I love the Raiders and don't want to be a distraction. Thank you to all of the Raider Nation players, coaches, staff, and fans. I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone. "
Raiders owner Mark Davis accepted Gruden's resignation.
The New York Times reported that Gruden's controversial behavior went well beyond these comments. From 2010 to 2018, when he rejoined the Raiders, he unleashed "occasional and frequent misogynist and homophobic language" to denigrate NFL colleagues, according to the newspaper.
CBS Sports reported that the NFL "is waiting for the raiders to take action" and is ready to "step in" if Las Vegas does not address the situation beyond public charges.