Aaron Rodgers read the details of the email exchanges that prompted Jon Gruden to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player said he hopes the league uses the incident to educate team personnel.
“It was surprising to see that the thing went so quickly, but I think that was probably the best decision for all parties involved,” Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show. “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 s— doesn’t fly.'”
Rodgers said he takes pride in kindness and inclusiveness evident in his own locker room. In his 17th season in Green Bay, Rodgers said the league has evolved and he’s unaware of other coaches and personnel who might share Gruden’s opinions that were critical of minorities, homosexuals and women.
“I know that there’s opinions similar to that, but I feel they’re few and far between,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “The player and the coach of today is a more empathetic, advanced, progressive, loving, connected type of person. I’m proud of the kind of locker room we have. We need to allow people to grow and change, but those opinions don’t have a place in the game.”
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin worked with Gruden in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers on Tuesday announced the removal of Gruden from the team’s Ring of Honor.
Tomlin praised Gruden’s ability as a teacher and mentor during an offseason interview. But the gravity of the Gruden news last week weighed heavily on Tomlin.
“I’m saddened by it,” said Tomlin, who was a defensive assistant for Gruden’s Super Bowl-winning team in Tampa following the 2002 season. “I’m saddened for the Raiders organization. I’m saddened for the people that were offended by it. I’m saddened for Coach Gruden. It’s a sad commentary, and that’s really the only opinion I care to share at this juncture.”
Multiple former players, from Keyshawn Johnson to Willie McGinest, said they “weren’t surprised” by the Gruden situation.
The Raiders have not publicly commented since Gruden’s resignation on Monday night.