Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden Resigns as Raiders Head Coach

Following recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times detailing the use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms by Jon Gruden in emails reportedly dating back to 2010, Gruden has informed the staff of the Las Vegas Raiders that he is resigning as Raiders head coach. Here's a link to the New York Times piece. Gruden denounced the hiring of women as referees and the drafting of Michael Sam, and referred to commissioner Roger Goodell using a derogatory anti-gay slur. These emails were between Gruden and Washington executive Bruce Allen and were uncovered as part of an investigation into sexual harassment at the Washington Football Team. They have nothing to do with Gruden's time with the Raiders.

It's good that someone who thinks this way and writes this way is no longer a head coach in the NFL, but I can't imagine that Gruden is the only coach or executive in the league who has these views or speaks this way (or, I guess, types this way in emails). There's still a lot of work to do when it comes to opening minds about tolerance and understanding.

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257 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2021, 1:47am

1 He's done. As in no more…

He's done. As in no more coaching career and no more broadcasting either.

I wonder how many coaches out there hold such views as well. Probably there are a few in the Hall of Fame as well.

29 That doesn't work, either…

That doesn't work, either. If you are making millions of dollars a year as a guy in the booth for a weekly national NFL game, ya' can't be such a towering, incomprehensible, dumbf*ck, as to be digitizing slurs of the most vile type, directed at the people who run the cartel that partners with your employer, or somebody the cartel must have a decent working relationship with, unless you are pretty much irreplaceable. The only people who get close to clearing that bar are generationally great athletes themselves, and in football I'm not sure even the QB GOAT candidates quite get there. The basketball GOAT candidates probably do. 

A guy yappin' in a booth? He's a very expensive, yet eminently disposable, tool.

208 A guy yappin' in a booth who…

A guy yappin' in a booth who was never planning on his buddy the executive being wrapped up in this kind of investigation, because it never would have happened in 2011. He's old enough to not think about the fact that EVERYTHING on the internet is forever, including "private" emails.

I'd love to read what else is in Allen's inbox. 

247 Not so much

Not so much...

I'd love to read what else is in Allen's inbox. 

I rather imagine it would be mostly sad and depressing.  The Football Team has been a morass for years now that this is what emerges out of that particular quagmire cannot be particularly surprising. I expect there is even more there that the league office would like to be able "sanitize" before the stench emerges.

2 I hate cancel culture as…

I hate cancel culture as much as the next guy, but I don't feel bad for Gruden. The job isn't just about him, but his players. He can't do his job if his players don't feel like he returns the respect they give him. Not to mention, he'll go be canceled with his millions and probably get a cushy job somewhere else.

14 Being so dumb at to direct…

Being so dumb at to direct digitized vile insults at the people who run the cartel that has made you wealthy, and you hope will make you still wealthier, or a person the cartel absolutely needs a working relationship with, when you're not even within a parsec of being irreplaceable, does not have much to do with cancel culture.

34 Its amazing how many …

Its amazing how many (especially older) people seem to not understand that email isn't private, is permanent, and can be used as evidence. 

This sort of shit is way more common than people think it is. 

209 As someone who worked in…

As someone who worked in digital trial discovery for many years, I can confirm this. That's pretty much ALL I can confirm, thanks to NDAs, but people really don't understand corporate email retention policies in the post-Enron world.

256 If you are a racist and…

If you are a racist and sexist and get caught it's not "cancel culture". It's "righting wrongs". Racism is not culture, it's bigotry, pure and simple. It means you can't be trusted to make decisions regarding another person's life.

3 It’s not “cancel culture.”…

It’s not “cancel culture.” It’s a consequence for his behavior. Whether he was fired or persuaded to quit, ousting him was the right move.

4 Thank god the New York Times…

Thank god the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal took a break from lying us into wars in the Middle East to break this story. I’m just so sick and tired of these innocent wife beaters in the NFL being tarred through osmosis by the trannyphobia of John “KKK all the way” Gruden. 

5 It goes without saying that…

It goes without saying that Gruden's views and language are childish at best and abhorrent at worst.

It also pretty much goes without saying that he's not the only person on coaching staffs (or in front offices, or on the field...) who said (says) such things. And he isn't the only one who's dumb enough to say it in official email channels. And I'd wager pretty good money he's not the only one to do so in communication with Bruce Allen.

So I find myself wondering (as always, when something like this hits the news) who is leaking this, and why. Racist language is bad enough, racist language directed at the head of your employees' union might well be too much, although 1) they look to be entering a relatively long period of labor peace with a 10-year CBA just ratified, and 2) there didn't seem to be any reason it would become public unless specifically leaked, as here. It's also possible Goodell just found out about it, and thought he would look/be weak if he didn't bring the hammer down, since at least two front offices knew what they were saying about him. But what almost makes the most sense is if Mark Davis wanted out of that huge contract, and found a way to do it without being on the hook for tens of $millions in essentially wasted money for years to come.

Or it's possible, I suppose, that it was just some (likely lower-level) individual(s) involved in the investigation thought Gruden was an a-hole and wanted the world to know how much of one.

Whatever the case, it's good he's gone and I can't say I'll miss him. I just wonder why this is coming out now.

9 RIght, but why is it being…

Right, but why is it being made public? It's tangential to the investigation and could have been omitted or redacted in whatever report is eventually released. And like I said, is Gruden really the only person emailing these kinds of things with Bruce Allen? In my experience, people like this tend to be like it with pretty much everybody, and there's as much chance those two are the only ones like it as there is of me starting for the Packers on Sunday. It's clear someone is targeting Gruden, specifically. I'm just wondering aloud why.

20 Yeah, I'm having similar…

Yeah, I'm having similar thoughts. It feels like someone released the first email to see what the reaction would be (right before the weekend), and then followed up with the rest when that didn't have the desired effect (right before MNF). And as you say, it could have happened at any time, so why now?

And just to be clear, I am also not defending him. It just feels like there's a vendetta or something more that we'll probably never know.

203 Keep in mind where this occurred

The 'leak' of emails is from his time in Washington.

DC investigative culture seems to be about as watertight as the USS Arizona on December 8. SO sure, maybe it was someone higher up the chain. But maybe it was just an investigator keeping up a relationship with a journo.

10 I Agree

In reply to by Raiderjoe

I agree with RaiderJoe.   On the one hand, this seems as another example of cancel culture.  On the other hand, the woke media would have made it an incredible distraction for Gruden and the team.  But for me, the bottom line is he just wasn’t very good.  He was a very good, even excellent offensive coordinator who managed to get Carr to improve every year and I think he was more innovative than he has been given credit for.  But he was a bad evaluator of talent, he was bad at having a vision for the team and carrying it out, and—even worse—he refused to recognise that he was bad at those things.  He wasted the Mack draft picks, and I can’t forgive him for dismantling the O line.

11 "But he was a bad evaluator…

In reply to by Raiderfan

"But he was a bad evaluator of talent"

If Gruden truly held the beliefs he espoused in those emails, it has to taint how he assesses talent.  We're all kicked around by our own biases without knowing it, but truly good evaluators of other people have to have a filter for non-relevant opinions about people that allows them to see objective factors.  

Similarly, I think it's tough to harbor these types of personal opinions and be a good manager of people.  Maybe you can compartmentalize and pull it off, but it sure seems like the sort of thing that could lead to suboptimal decisions and behavior.

Was Gruden just blowing steam in the emails to a receptive audience, saying things he didn't really believe, he just thought was funny to say?  It's possible.  From what I know of his personality - which is exclusively media-based, I've never met him - I'm disinclined to give him any benefit of the doubt.  He's always struck me as a jerk. 

My biggest fear of him eventually getting fired was that he'd be back on TV, so I've personally been hoping he served out his coaching contract.  I guess for a little while, at least, he'll only reappear on media I'm not interested in watching anyway. 

16 "On the one hand, this seems…

In reply to by Raiderfan

"On the one hand, this seems as another example of cancel culture."

OMG. Does it seem like an example of cancel culture? Is the only problem you see with this that "woke" media would make it a distraction?

The man manages tens of black men and at least one gay man. Do you think they would be motivated to follow his lead going forward. Do you want a man like that be the manager of you, or your black friends, or your women friends or your gay friends? 

Cancel culture.. what a joke. He wanted Eric Reid to be cancelled, he wanted Ram's to pass on a gay player, he wanted player safety to be ignored. He was cancelling other people right and left. And now he is made accountable for what he does, it is cancel culture. 

 

24 On the other hand, he has…

On the other hand, he has been a head coach in the NFL for 13 years, and an assistant coach in the NFL/college for 12 years before that (as well as being a prominent figure in the media in between) all with a relative degree of success. If his views were that toxic, and he was that prejudiced, could he have survived and prospered for so long?

I'm playing devil's advocate here, because he deserves everything he gets for being so stupid as to record such stuff in work emails. And you are correct that it would now be very difficult for him to maintain authority in an NFL locker room going forward. But it is possible to joke about things in (what you believe is) a private medium, and not actually believe them. Or even believe them, but not let them influence you in a professional capacity. I'm sure many of us have made borderline unsavory jokes in private at some stage in our lives in order to try and impress people, or fit in, or whatever, but are otherwise perfectly well-behaved, well-intentioned members of society. Yes it's totally dumb and immature, and yes, anybody who has fired off such jokes in emails left and right from their work platform probably deserves to be fired for gross stupidity. But it doesn't make you a monster. The discomfort with 'cancel culture' is in pretending everybody should be wholly accountable for anything they have ever said, no matter how long ago or in what forum/context. 

27 "The discomfort with 'cancel…

"The discomfort with 'cancel culture' is in pretending everybody should be wholly accountable for anything they have ever said, no matter how long ago or in what forum/context."

One counterpoint to this is that this has always been the case: the only thing that is changed is who is now being held accountable and for what beliefs.

You only have to go back a few years to find people being fired from their job or being informed that they can't serve in the military because they believe it should be okay to express their love for someone of the same sex.  Many (not all) of the same people who would say that Gruden is a victim of 'cancel culture' would have said that those other decisions were perfectly fine because of the importance of 'team cohesion' or 'private rights for an employer to hire or fire whoever they want'.  But when 'team cohesion' or 'private rights' start getting exercised wielded as an argument in the other direction, they change their tune.

I do agree with you, however, that we as a society are struggling to find the right balance around when people should be held accountable and for what.  It bugs me when teenagers are held accountable long-term for stupid video postings or brush ins with the law, because while teenagers have aspects of adulthood about them, they also have aspects of idiocy about them that may manifest and be captured on record without reflecting the person they can become.  An adult being a voice for hatred is a topic I'm less tolerant for, but where, how long ago, and have they changed since then could all be relevant factors, depending on the context.

129 cancel culture

"Cancel culture" means "people in power losing their privilege for saying exactly the same thing many people have been saying for generations."

This definition seems to fit every case.

Nobody said the Dixie Chicks were "victims of cancel culture" when their career suffered for speaking against George W. Bush.  Or, to be more recent and in this context, when Colin Kaepernick had his career ended for kneeling during the National Anthem.  

158 How about when a woman…

In reply to by RickD

How about when a woman walking her dog off leash in  Central Park is fired, after her exchange with a bird watcher has elements taken out of context and misreported by the NYT and other major outlets?

248 Can you prosper as a bigot?

he has been a head coach in the NFL for 13 years, and an assistant coach in the NFL/college for 12 years before that (as well as being a prominent figure in the media in between) all with a relative degree of success. If his views were that toxic, and he was that prejudiced, could he have survived and prospered for so long?  It seems to me, based on the breadth and volume of his hateful statements, that yes, that is who he is, and his views are exactly that toxic.  And, yet, he prospered all the while.  I think that is why a lot of people think "the system is fixed".  When a person with relative power is shown to be of this mind, it only reinforces the point of view that the deck is stacked.

28 "On the other hand, the woke…

In reply to by Raiderfan

"On the other hand, the woke media would have made it an incredible distraction for Gruden and the team."

Is that the real problem?  I would think the bigger problem would be the fact that he would have to coach multiple black players and a gay player, after appearing to express contempt for those groups.

15 He's never struck me as…

He's never struck me as being among the intellectual elite of NFL coaches, but good grief, it turns out ol' Jonny-boy is as dumb as a kicking tee. 

17 Moron

Amazing tyat gruden would write e

-mails with these things int hem. If had private dopey conversation with Bruce Allen about this stuff that would be one thing. nothing ever comes of it btu sending e-mail was problemfor him. Raiders better offf. Will rally around interim coach and will win games

18 In the minor offense…

In the minor offense category, I also gotta say that it's annoying as hell to read some A-hole, who never played beyond Division III in the early 80s, adopt a mocking tone about measures taken to protect players from brain trauma, as he makes dozens of millions of dollars from this game of extreme collisions at the highest level. If a NFL player does it, I may think he's ignorant, but at least his ass is cashin' checks his mouth is writin'. Gruden's just a REMF with a big mouth.

19 He did this to himself.

There should be no defense of him in any sort of way. The reason why and how this came out doesn't matter. 

And if yall can't see how biased these billion dollar organizations, with all the resources in the world to vet these guys, are when it comes to even hiring head coaches at this point...there's no helping.

21 DeMaurice Smith's response should be widely seen

DeMaurice Smith's response should be widely seen, especially the last one I'm directly quoting.

"The email from Jon Gruden — and some of the reaction to it — confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over. This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less. The email has also revealed why the comments by some with powerful platforms to explain this away are insidious and hypocritical. It is as if there is a need to protect football above the values of equality, inclusion and respect.

"The powerful in our business have to embrace that football itself has to be better, as opposed to making excuses to maintain the status quo.

"I appreciate that (Gruden) reached out to me (and) I told him that we will connect soon, but make no mistake, the news is not about what is said in our private conversation, but what else is said by people who never thought they would be exposed and how they are going to be held to account."

 

https://twitter.com/demauricesmith/status/1447697994657239042

Gruden sucks and deserves everything he gets for his actions and I really hope others, and we all know there are others, get called out too.

22 Raiders move quickly

Their web site already has Bisaccia as the interim head coach.  Very efficient!

Wonder if conditioning coach Deuce Gruden (Deuce?!) will stay.

25 Goodell's main job is the…

Goodell's main job is the league's image, so while "forced" may be overstated, him putting pressure on teams to hire / not hire certain players based on his view of how that would affect the league's image seems rather plausible.  And a 7th round pick isn't much of a cost for a team that wanted to get out of St. Louis to spend to get on the league office's good side.

Sam was probably borderline NFL talent, but would have had a hard time cracking an NFL lineup even without the mental pressure of being in a media circus.  He gave it a shot in the CFL, but walked away before he could establish whether he could or couldn't make a career of it on the field there.  The pressure of being the poster-child for all future players with characteristic "X" would be tough for players with star talent, let alone for a player considered too small to play professionally at the position they excelled in at college (DE), who was trying to adapt to a position they would be considered for (OLB). 

207 In the NFL, I dont know. …

In reply to by RickD

In the NFL, I dont know. 

But in this case? Yes.

Discrimination is discrimination, no matter which direction.

159 Wouldn’t surprise me at all…

Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Michael Sam was outright sluggish, and got massively outplayed by Westbrooks, a UDFA the Rams brought in that year. Then he bounced around, never sticking, and couldn’t make it in the CFL.

178 Sam signed a CFL contract…

Sam signed a CFL contract and was dressed for a few games, but was having personal issues and as far as I can tell basically left of his own accord before Montreal could assess whether he had a chance to someday be a regular CFL starter or not.  But your point that it wasn't clear he would make it in the CFL, let alone the NFL, is correct.  And is also true of most late-draft picks.  Not many 7th round picks make it.

31 I have to admit, I have a…

I have to admit, I have a hard time reconciling this. 

As a libertarian, I am wedded to the idea that free speech is a critical component to a healthy democracy and an effective government. You don't have the Nazis reaching the zenith of power without Goebbels.

To that vein, part of the costs of free speech is that you have to tolerate these kinds of ugly statements.

Should this result in firing? Forget the fact that he's a millionaire or whatever. What if he was a software engineer sending emails to his buddy with this kind of language and candor? Should we demand his firing?

Remember, the same mob that's denouncing Gruden, including all of ESPN, include a lot of the same people who were lionizing Kobe - someone who admitted he raped a woman.

That smells of selective passing of judgement based on if we like you.

My point in all of this... You can choose to dislike Gruden and you can find his statements repugnant, but I worry going beyond that is a going down a dangerous road.

36 I don't reply because I don…

I don't reply because I don't think you care to read my arguments and come back with anything substantive about why they are wrong.

Basically writing me off as a racist seems to be the beginning and ending of your arguments.

46 You're essentially defending Gruden.

And balantly said Kobe raped someone.

There isn't much more to it. Youre more concerned about "freedom of speech" for a guy that literally, in every sense, brought this upon himself. With the emails AND the resignation. He's yet to be officially punished. Stop acting like he's a martyr.

There are now four others calling you out. Stop and think. 

54 Posting this here, but I'm…

Posting this here, but I'm not getting into the racism accusation, merely the mention of Kobe Bryant.  

Kobe admitted to having consensual sex with her.  He did not admit to committing rape.  There is a difference.

57 Correct

It's also whataboutism (and incorrect at that). Completely off topic though.

And I never called op racist but he's showed multiple times, including this now, that he just waves his hand at people questioning racial bias in the NFL.

69 Kobe

Not that it's especially relevant here, but this was Kobe's statement:

"Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did"

Guess what, if she didn't think it was consensual, then it wasn't. Consent requires both parties. That is an admission of rape.

39 To that vein, part of the…

To that vein, part of the costs of free speech is that you have to tolerate these kinds of ugly statements.

Woah, woah, woah. That's totally wrong. Governments have to tolerate all speech, because fundamentally it's the only way a democracy works (especially in the sense that "voting" is a form of speech to begin with).

But I don't have to tolerate this stuff, and in fact saying "hey, NFL fans can't force Gruden to resign because of this" is suppressing free speech. You can't say "it's Gruden's right to say this" and then say "people shouldn't call for Gruden to be fired." Both of those are free speech.

Remember, the same mob that's denouncing Gruden, including all of ESPN, include a lot of the same people who were lionizing Kobe - someone who admitted he raped a woman.

Sure, and you're welcome to call them out for being hypocritical. Absolutely fair. But there's a huge difference between saying "you guys should be consistent" and "you guys can't criticize someone for what they say unless you do it fairly to everyone." You know what someone being hypocritical on ESPN is? Still speech.

You can choose to dislike Gruden and you can find his statements repugnant, but I worry going beyond that is a going down a dangerous road.

It is literally impossible to promote free speech and at the same time suggest that calling for Gruden to resign over these comments is wrong because of free speech. Both of those things are free speech. 

40 Its amazing how someone…

Its amazing how someone stating that they're a libertarian is almost always followed by them immediately showing that they either don't understand freedom of speech, or alternately, economics. 

Freedom of Speech has literally nothing to do with this issue. 

77 Did he resign because he…

Did he resign because he wasn't coaching properly?

Why yes. Yes, he did.

The arguments your making are, in some sense, interesting in a general sense (although not to me), but in this specific sense, they're nuts. Gruden's absolutely resigning because he screwed up at his job. Not having stupid stuff you said privately come out is absolutely part of a head coach's job. And dealing with stupid stuff you said in a way to not have people hate the team is also part of your job.

85 They were said 10 years ago…

They were said 10 years ago when he wasn't being employed by the NFL. Its not like he sent them as a member of the Raiders. 

Also the not interesting to me is a funny line given you've responded a bunch. I am happy to drop it because that's frankly an impolite thing to say. 

90 You realize everyone who is…

You realize everyone who is outraged by this is not pointing to his lame ass apology. They are repeating the messages themselves. Copy and pasting the email contents and not what an idiot he was when he gave his mea culpa. Perhaps if he had done a better damage control he would be employed, but that's getting away from my original premise; which is - do these statements by themselves and how they were sent constitute firing. You've dodged this question even though I have tried to state it again and again.

Let's try once more since I know your interest has waned. 

"do these statements, by themselves and only by themselves constitute firing, especially since they were sent privately and not intended to be read by anyone else and were made 10 years ago"

For the sake of ease of comprehension(since clearly I am low IQ), it would be help if you could answer Yes or No.  

 

96 You realize everyone who is…

You realize everyone who is outraged by this is not pointing to his lame ass apology. 

You... do realize that's why it's a lame ass apology, right?

For the sake of ease of comprehension(since clearly I am low IQ), it would be help if you could answer Yes or No.  

Psst: you don't respond to loaded questions with direct answers, because the question is literally designed to have no correct answer.

There does not exist any statement which, by itself, is so offensive that the crisis that they cause cannot be managed by sufficiently skilled response. That's the best answer I can give.

118 I don't think your view is…

I don't think your view is the majority imo. Depending on the specific optics, if the public has decided they don't like you, no amount of damage control or spin will ever buy your way out of it. 

On the other hand, if they do like you or they feel you come from a particular ethnic group, you can in fact double down on your disparaging message.

Its these situations that highlight exactly my point. Who wants a court system that hangs one murderer and exonerates the other.  

123 Depending on the specific…

Depending on the specific optics, if the public has decided they don't like you, no amount of damage control or spin will ever buy your way out of it. 

I don't believe this is true.

Who wants a court system that hangs one murderer and exonerates the other.  

Comparing society to a court system is a terrible comparison. Court systems are granted authority, conditionally. Society has authority, unconditionally.

93 I am happy to drop it…

I am happy to drop it because that's frankly an impolite thing to say.

Let me clarify what I'm saying, because I apparently need to make it explicit.

From a philosophical standpoint, this could be an interesting question to some: "can a free society have a statement which is so offensive that the person who says it, even in private, must be expunged, with no possibility of apology?"

I do not find that statement interesting, because I do not believe people are offended by statements.

I do find the question "should Gruden have been forced to resign" interesting, because as with most situations, people focus on the wrong portion of it.

170 the framing

This framing seeks to portray Gruden as the victim, while diminishing the impact his statements and attitudes had on Smith and others.  And I see his attempt to explain away and diminish the comments (to the extent of changing the wording outrageously) to be far worse than the statements themselves.  There's still very much a person of privilege here, trying to get by with stock, insincere apologies. 

41 Words can be weapons and…

Words can be weapons and inflict serious harm.  My freedom to take a walk around the block doesn't give me the right to knock over and walk on an old lady in my way.  My freedom to express myself shouldn't give me the right to bully and disparage my fellow citizens.

The "selective passing of judgment based on if we like you" has been a hallmark of society ever since society has existed, the only thing that's changed recently is who the spotlight is shining on.  The "dangerous road" that you see isn't that bullies are starting to get called to account.  The issue is distinguishing at what point does speech cross the line and become damaging to other people.  Pretending that there's no line isn't an answer.

 

43 Responding to everyone here…

Responding to everyone here.

My biggest issue is what leads to censorship. Free speech allows us to criticize him back. Fair.

The reason I was pointing to Goebbels and free speech is because we need to be careful how we admonish people for espousing horrible things( to be 100 percent clear, I too thought they were terrible things to say).

Also, Its important to be introspective. What you feel is dangerous or damaging speech is pretty selective. Lots of dictators censor based on anything that looks seditious, therefore to them, those words are dangerous. 

I guess people are deciding to view my post as some kind of defense of Gruden and his words. NO! Absolutely not. 

52 My biggest issue is what…

My biggest issue is what leads to censorship.

Censorship is the suppression of speech and information by an authority. Society itself can't censor anything. If no one wants to publish a crappy book, that's not censorship, it's society saying "that thing sucks." If no one shows up to your rally to hear you speak, that's not censorship, that's no one caring to hear what you hear.

And if you're forced to resign as a head coach because of crappy things you say, that's not censorship, that's firing you because you're crap at your job. Because lots, and lots, and lots of a head coach's job is public relations.

55 Let me give an example:…

Let me give an example:

https://twitter.com/McCormickProf/status/1444738353845489664

Let me further state. In this situation, a head coach represents a team more broadly, so in that vein, its justifiable. However, I also think that the times have kind of forced this on us. Because I think we all know that a lot of coaches in the nfl have probably said stuff similar to this. Should we be calling for a mass hunt for emails and texts to verify how they talk in private?

62 Yeah, I'm not going to try…

Yeah, I'm not going to try to dissect a complex issue from a Tweet.

Should we be calling for a mass hunt for emails and texts to verify how they talk in private?

Work emails are not private. Ever. Anyone who thinks they are is insane.

But again, realistically, the statements aren't the reason he was forced to resign. It's the complete and total lack of recognition of the reason why it's a problem.

Generally when someone says something monumentally dumb, it's entirely about the response, and not the original message.

71 Well let me pose it this way…

Well let me pose it this way. As I wrote below, let's say he sent this privately to his buddy Bruce Allen and they get leaked somehow. Now its purely about the substance of his statement. 

Forget his forthcoming apology. Is just the statement itself which was sent privately deserving of him getting fired? That's kind of what I am trying to highlight. 

Because if its a blanket YES; then we are fooling ourselves into thinking Gruden is an isolated incident. We are also applying this policy completely inconsistently. And finally, its this point that I disagree with. Being a jerk and writing nasty things to a third person that was never meant to be shared to me is not a fireable offense. That's my whole argument.

75 Forget his forthcoming…

Forget his forthcoming apology. Is just the statement itself which was sent privately deserving of him getting fired? 

Did you read what I said? I literally said it's not the statement, it's the response.

Being a jerk and writing nasty things to a third person that was never meant to be shared to me is not a fireable offense. 

Be damned glad you don't have a public relations job, then, because of course it's a fireable offense if you're in one of those.

It's somewhat of an interesting philosophical question (... well, maybe to someone, not to me) if a statement can be offensive in and of itself, but that's just completely beside the point when it comes to Gruden.

86 I have had customer facing…

I have had customer facing jobs in the past. I have also written or sent texts 10 years ago that were insenstive. I am honest enough to admit, 10 years ago I was dumb and immature enough to write things I would never write today. Thank god no one is out there scouring text messages or emails to burry me 10 years later. 

89 Thank god no one is out…

Thank god no one is out there scouring text messages or emails to burry me 10 years later. 

Again. It's not the messages. It's the response. If you're actually a better person, and not a jerk, you wouldn't come out and try to defend the statements you made and say "oh, I'm not racist, I'm a jerk to everyone."

The response is how you demonstrate you wouldn't write those messages today.

44 The issue is distinguishing…

The issue is distinguishing at what point does speech cross the line and become damaging to other people.

I don't entirely agree here. I don't think that's the issue. I think the issue is does the person actually realize what happened. Words are just words - it's the reaction to the response that matters, in some sense.

I've said things that were misinterpreted on work calls, and had to send out an email apology. It was a total misunderstanding (in fact a mishearing) of what I was trying to say, but I absolutely understood where the sensitivity came from, and those people had every right to be sensitive about it, and it was absolutely a real issue and difficult for people in my position to understand. That's what you do if you screw up like this and it honestly wasn't intentional. I'd love to say "you can't fake a sincere apology," but, well, I'm realistic. Of course you can.

But, seriously, what Gruden did wasn't even there. First email comes out about things he said to De Smith. What does he do? He deflects, says "oh that's not what I meant," and "there's no racist bone in my body," he "never had a racial thought" sending that message, and follows it up with effectively 'oh I said lots of crap about other people too.' There wasn't an acknowledgement there, and given that he knew there were lots more things like that, there wasn't anywhere near enough of a mea culpa.

So in some sense (and I hate saying it because it seems cynical) - Gruden had to resign because his apology was beyond terrible. But, then again, it's not such a horrible thing to say that because the entire point here is to get people to recognize this stuff.

47 Well let me ask it this way…

Well let me ask it this way. Let's say hes the kind of person who isn't racist or homophobic or whatever per se - but hes the kind of guy with 0 filter who says the first insult that comes to mind. 

Does that in of itself suggest he needs to be fired? If he were in a customer facing role, absolutely. If he was some back of the hall janitor working a shift with no one around, then no?

I ask this because calling for him to be fired because saying stuff like this isn't cool is the part that worries me. If that makes sense. Because what is repugnant varies depending on person and, historically, someone's agenda.

56 Let's say hes the kind of…

Let's say hes the kind of person who isn't racist or homophobic or whatever per se - but hes the kind of guy with 0 filter who says the first insult that comes to mind. 

I... think you and I (and many other people in society) have very different ideas as to what racism, homophobia, and discrimination are.

74 Yup, that's an argument with…

Yup, that's an argument with a logical fallacy. If it's OK if action A leads to someone being fired, that does not imply action A must lead to someone being fired.

I seriously have no idea how you think it's somehow a problem if a boss fires an at-will employee for being a jerk and making his job more difficult. Because that's literally what Jon Gruden just did.

79 Gruden wasn't fired for…

Gruden wasn't fired for being a jerk. He wasn't even fired because his emails were sent to a company email. He was fired because the substance of his emails created a public outrage that lead to a toxic situation. In that respect, his firing/forced resignation makes all the sense in the world.

I am instead asking if that should be the public's response. Its here I am making the case that it shouldn't be this way. Some posters have twisted this into some me defending Gruden the racist. 

To me, this isn't about Gruden or what kind of person he is. This is about whether or not privately sent messages espousing whatever ugly statements they may be, but are otherwise sent privately and not meant to be shared are now fair game to fire someone because we find those statements ugly? Its this where I am staking my position that no, they shouldn't be. 

82 Gruden wasn't fired for…

Gruden wasn't fired for being a jerk. He wasn't even fired because his emails were sent to a company email. He was fired because the substance of his emails created a public outrage that lead to a toxic situation.

Nope. Disagree. Again. It's not the scandal that caused the problem. It's the response.

84 It's not about "sincere." It…

It's not about "sincere." It's not about feelings, or speech, or opinions, or any of that.

He's essentially a public head of a company. If his apology managed the crisis, obviously, you don't fire him. If it didn't, hey, guess what, he sucks at his job. That's what it means to be the head of a company.

95 Maybe a counter example can…

Maybe a counter example can illuminate. A prominent insurance company I did business with some time ago had old, old, (really old!) software, totally inadequate for managing the complex financial products that they had developed, and had through the years had become an ever larger % of their business, to the point they delivered a large majority of their profit.

The number of employees who were really good at making this antique software work with these products had dwindled to maybe 1 or 2, certainly less than 5, and getting onto a new platform was going to take years. The clearly most able person, a relatively low level manager, was well aware of her status, and that when she wasn't around things tended to grind to a halt. She was just relentlessly vile and insulting to literally everyone; she'd cuss out managers miles up the org chart like a  Marine DI trying to break a 1st day boot. Everybody just took it, until the new platform became viable, earlier than Ms. Charmer anticipated. She got clipped immediately, not that she really cared by that point.

These things can never be totally seperated from the power of being needed. Jon Gruden was likely dumb enough to think the NFL needed him.

101 I am probably engaging in a…

I am probably engaging in a bit of pedantry, but in this example, the woman was consistently being awful. Its not like she was a generally nice person who wrote some nasty emails 10 years ago that the company was now using to retroactively fire her.

102 He wrote many of these…

He wrote many of these emails four years ago, the latest emails they have evidence of in that trove. It is a body of emails and nothing he has said or done indicates that it has stopped at any point.

106 I google searched but could…

I google searched but could not find any articles referencing emails sent 4 years ago. They all seem to be stemming from the 2011 email probe into WFT's sexual harrassment investigation. If you reference something that shows the contrary, I am happy to acknowledge it.

However, I should have been clearer above and said this is not about Gruden. My post is about a more general issue I perceive of which Gruden relates tangentially.

113 https://www.sportingnews.com…

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/jon-gruden-emails-resigns-raiders-coach/1f7nbdnxccjat1momv1xkg9bpp

The first email, the one you might be familiar with, came out yesterday. Then the others came out last night. A lot of people were willing to give him a second chance on one bad email from ten years ago. But it turned out to be a set of emails covering the entire time period under question, from 2011 to 2018.

125  A lot of people were…

 A lot of people were willing to give him a second chance on one bad email from ten years ago.

Well, part of the problem as well is that Gruden's apology mostly stemmed as "I was in a really dark place at that time, because the lockout was really personal to me and bothering me." Another rule of crisis management - don't bull$#!+ in your response to a crisis.

68 Yes, that's the part that's…

Yes, that's the part that's dumb. I am asking more generally though, if he had sent them privately to Bruce Allen's personal email and they get unconvered as part of some leak, does he still deserve to be fired? 

Is this about him sending emails over a company email or is the substance that is what's causing this?

42 Hilarious.  Quality comedy,…

Hilarious.  Quality comedy, nuclear-level comic hyperbole, 100% would laugh again.  Jumped straight to Goebbels, referenced "government" even though we're absolutely talking about private organizations that what pretends to be libertarian "philosophy" would recognize can make these sorts of decisions themselves and the government stepping in would be an infringement of the theoretical "FREEDUM" that's supposed to be important here, and, the cherry on top of the fedora is the classic "slippery slope" argument right at the end.

And, yes, if a software engineer puts this kind of stuff in work email, they should be fired.  Twice.  Once for being a racist, sexist, homophobic asshat, and the second time for, and this is very, very important, being dumb enough to put anything like this in a @#$!! work email account.

50 Directing vile insults at…

Directing vile insults at the people who pay you, or the people who your employer absolutely needs a working relationship with, has always been a reasonable cause for termination, and has nothing to do with free speech.

76 Doesn't matter who the…

Doesn't matter who the intended audience was. Once the insults become public, as the result of a lawsuit, Gruden's relationship with the cartel, either as broadcaster or coach, is no longer tenable, unless the cartel deems it so. Ol' Jonny just ain't all that important to the cartel, so he get hung from the bridge.

80 Again, to be clear, Gruden's…

Again, to be clear, Gruden's response was also impressively, epically bad. It wouldn't've been horrible if this was just a one-off. Saying "dude, I cussed out Goodell too" isn't a great response, but, y'know, if it was true, maybe?

But, yeah, after what came out on Monday? That response was just undeniably terrible. Which, to be clear, is the entire reason that those emails were sent to the Raiders. 

81 Sure, and again, I should…

Sure, and again, I should have been clearer above and said this is less about Gruden. 

I am asking more generally if someone(anyone) should be fired because private messages they sent to someone get unearthed? Should that be the norm and something we should be striving for?

97 That's quite reasonably up…

That's quite reasonably up to the employer, and that'll likely quite reasonably depend on how badly the employer needs that employee. The NFL really has no need of Jon Gruden. It's just an odd effect of an extremely wealthy society that interchangeable employees can make millions of dollars a year.

105 It's just an odd effect of…

It's just an odd effect of an extremely wealthy society that interchangeable employees can make millions of dollars a year.

I really think you're framing this wrong. It's not exactly that Gruden was interchangeable. He just wasn't actually better at his job than a reasonable replacement would be. No, not the coaching part (I actually think he was fine on that), the public-facing part of it. It's not a great analog to your example - it's more like, imagine if that employee was a customer support person, really good at managing the problems, and was just actively a jerk to everyone privately. Most of the time kept it private, but y'know, everyone kinda knew that there was snide and snark. Then one day, the person's seriously a jerk to an employee. Can't manage the problem, because, well... actually a jerk, so any apologies ring false.

And really, think about it - Gruden's always been terrible at the public-facing part of it. His statements as a head coach have always seemed laughably inconsistent and obviously garbage.

112 Not being better at a job…

Not being better at a job that a reasonable replacement would be is what I define as "interchangeable". 

If finding another one of you isn't a terribly daunting task, you're interchangeable. A lot of people, really highly paid people, really overestimate how difficult it would be to be to find another one of them.

131 Exactly. If you really,…

Exactly. If you really, really, suck at an important part of a job, you better be historically great at the other parts. And your job ought to really be important. Like George Patton slapping a PTSD patient, and making Ike's diplomatic efforts much harder-kind of sucking, but running his 3rd Army through France like shit through a goose historically great, and important.

Gruden is not historically great at anything, and his job isn't that important. 

53 "“Although I truly believe…

"“Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual,” he said in statement, “I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.”

Sure, you could read it that way. Also he settled in the civil court case, suggesting it wasn't just consentual sex. 

61 Well let me ask it this way…

Well let me ask it this way. Is the person who alleged he raped making it up? And his statement above suggests what exactly?

Besides my point isn't to slam Kobe or stomp on his grave. It was more to highlight how we tend to be very inconsistent about who draws major ire. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/kareem-abdul-jabbar-is-outrage-anti-semitism-sports-hollywood-1303210/

92 Free Speech

Not understanding what Free Speech means is part of the problem. Free Speech means anyone can (*mostly) say what they want. It does not mean they are immune from any consequences from their speech. What Gruden is experiencing is the result of others being rightfully appalled by his speech. Society has always weighed in on the consequences of one's speech, though not always for the better. This is not "Cancel Culture." It has been this way since before America was founded. 

Your Kobe tangent is nothing but a distraction. Many, including me, were disgusted by the postmortem canonization of Kobe by the media. He did a lot of good things while he was alive, but it's only his position in society (like many rich and connected people of all colors, religions, and sexual identity) that kept him out of jail. He did appear to change for the better after dodging jail (unlike many others) including doing a lot of work for the African-American community, especially women, so I tolerate it (mostly to avoid arguments). 

Goebbels could not have succeeded so spectacularly without Free Speech being completely oppressed by the Nazis. Mein Kampf was published in the Free Speech days of the Weimar Republic which is no different than it being available in America, then and now. Many people are unaware there was significant Fascist support in the West pre-WWII including Charles Lindbergh and King Edward VIII (the one who resigned, not the father of QE II). The German-American Bund (a Fascist organization supported by Nazi Germany much like the old American Communist Party was supported by the old USSR) held largest crowd in Madison Square Garden in the 1930's, a Fascist rally billed as a "Pro American Rally." The difference between then and today is that Hitler went to jail for the Beer Hall Putsch; the leaders of the January 6th attempted coup are still free and some still hold office because today we only punish those who have no real power. Like Gruden. 

*mostly means you can't yell "Fire" in a theater, etc. 

99 Let me clarify a few things…

In reply to by justanothersteve

Let me clarify a few things.

I wanted to highlight the importance of circumspection. What one finds offensive can be anachronstic. It can also be very person dependent. And the point of free speech is to avoid this problem of selective censorship, even if its being done in voluntary hands. We have shunned lots of intellectuals in the past who made arguments at the time that looked repugnant. And only years later did we realize how wrong we were then. 

I brought up Kobe to highlight the other danger. We can be very selective in WHO receives our stunning societal rebuke while sidestepping the hypocrisy. I prefer to not name Kobe, but using examples makes it easier to convey the message.

I will admit, I did a very poor job in my first post and people rightly misunderstood my general thoughts. I have gone back and forth with Pat on this, but I will state it here once more. 

Lets put Gruden's name away from this. And for the record, I did not like his words, found them terrible and just not ok. Even if he was "joking" which I doubt he was, he needs to know that these things could come back to bite him in the ass. In that sense, I don't have much sympathy  specifically for him.

Here is what concerns me. 10 year old messages sent privately to another person that read offensively as defined by the current culture - should those then be used retroactively to fire someone? Its here I raise my concerns because a) offensive can be a very loosely defined term and b) it curtails free speech because loss of livelihood will do that; not just the threat of firing squads.

 

107 Ten years ago, calling…

Ten years ago, calling people fags, especially the managers of the cartel that directs millions to you, or engaging in racial mockery of people who are important to those who manage that cartel, would get you fired.

Again, your recall of the not that distant past is puzzling to me.

111 The disagreement comes here:…

The disagreement comes here:

He sent them privately and they were not to be shared. Imagine writing disparagingly to a friend about some company being a bunch of nasty crooks. And then 10 years later you go to work for them and those messages get uncovered somehow. Should their be howls demanding you to be fired? They have a right to fire you, but should we as a public be demanding you to be fired?

241 should we as a public be…

should we as a public be demanding you to be fired?

Nope, and that isn't happening.  A lot of individuals are demanding that.  No public body is demanding that.

There's a big, important difference between a lot of people, and a properly constituted authority of the people.  The latter is the basis for free speech - rights of free speech suggest that no properly constituted authority of the people (like the government) will give you a kicking for anything you say.  However, every individual who contribute to that authority can have any reaction that they want - even all having the same reaction.

Don't forget, also, that in this case, the 'public' isn't demanding Chucky is fired - a lot of people are, but a lot of people disagree with that, but are a lot quieter about it - for reasons that are so obvious it would be jejune to point them out.

Hope that makes the difference between people and society easier for you.

110 Since our posts crossed, I…

Since our posts crossed, I'll repeat here a few comments from my post below, just to try and keep things (relatively) coherent.  To your last two points

a) Offensive can be loosely defined, but that doesn't mean you avoid defining it or hand-waive away all past behavior because "the past was the past".  

b) Historically, censorship has not been about preventing people from expressing their opinion that one group of society or another was subhuman.  It's been about people not being allowed to question the lies that are being told to them.  We can have both: a society that protects people from the harm of irrational hatred while still allowing people to question the basis for government policy.

179 10 year old messages sent…

10 year old messages sent privately to another person that read offensively as defined by the current culture - should those then be used retroactively to fire someone?

What words Gruden used that people are now finding offensive wasn't offensive back in the day? I'm gay. He literally said in an email concerning Michael Sam that the league shouldn't draft "queers" (his word). That was offensive then. Carl Nassib came out last summer; how do you think hearing this makes him feel? Maybe queer and other words Gruden used only recently became offensive to you, but they've been offensive to most decent people for a long time. The culture hasn't changed that much in ten years; it's only more people are now being held accountable for their words. 

186 This is probably where you…

This is probably where you and I disagree. Let's forget Jon Gruden for a moment. Let's assume it's a particular coworker of mine and I learned they made offensive comments in private 10 years ago to a friend at another company. Should I want and should they be fired?

I'm even going to leave aside the fact that they may or may not be sorry.

Here is my personal opinion. I don't think they should be if it has no reflection on how they're doing their jobs. 

This is the part where I believe it's better if we ignore them, regard them as the kind of people we don't want to hang out with, and keep them at a distance ( again provided they are not doing anything on the job that constitutes harassment or bullying).

The reason I take this view is that while to you and me his comments are way out of bounds, there are lighter flavors of vulgar speech that you and I might shrug off as in poor taste but another person might find intolerably offensive and then clamor for the same loss of livelihood. And that's where I worry that what one defines as offensive becomes a gray area and leads to the kind of censorship I'm afraid of.

It's not that I don't find his comments offensive and hurtful and think he shouldnt be punished. I just regarded it as healthier for us to take the turn the other cheek approach. 

But as these threads showed I'm probably in the minority.

 

212 " And that's where I worry…

" And that's where I worry that what one defines as offensive becomes a gray area and leads to the kind of censorship I'm afraid of."

And that is, I believe, a totally irrational fear.  

If I am doing something today that people 10 years from now censor me about, it's going to be because something I'm doing today is wrong and is hurting other people, and maybe I should evaluate my own behaviour before someone starts evaluating it for me.  It's not going to be because society as a whole lost it's collective mind and decided that being a Hamilton Tiger-Cats fan is a socially-shunable offense.  

103 I'm going to invoke the FO…

In reply to by justanothersteve

I'm going to invoke the FO Prime Directive here, even in this thread, to avoid an exchange with regard to the insipid nature of an analogy between German Nazis in the Weimar Republic and Trump supporters, along with the meaning of the word "coup".

109 *mostly means you can't yell…

In reply to by justanothersteve

*mostly means you can't yell "Fire" in a theater, etc. 

I swear, the first thing they should teach in schools about free speech is "never, ever, try to say what free speech is, cuz you'll probably say something wrong." (To defend myself: I declare that I truly, do not understand what free speech really should be.)

The whole "can't yell fire in a theater" thing is not law, and hasn't been for over 50 years. It comes from an old Supreme Court case (from 1919) and is not actually valid law, because it was superseded by the Brandenburg v Ohio ruling in 1969.

201 I'm not a lawyer; I'm a…

I'm not a lawyer; I'm a retired cartographer. So I had to research this as best I could. What I used is shorthand for what Holmes wrote. Holmes's opinion "falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic" is about whether yelling something obviously false and intended to cause a panic is not protected. There are still arguments over Brandenburg v Ohio, but the Supreme Court established that speech advocating illegal conduct is protected under the First Amendment unless the speech is likely to incite "imminent lawless action." No idea how one supersedes the other as one ruling is about false claims in general vs advocating doing something specifically illegal. 

114 If he…

If he was a software engineer and privately made racist/homophobic statements that his employer found out about they would absolutely fire him and be right to do so. On what planet would that not lead to a hostile work environment, particularly if that person worked with groups that they had made offensive comments about and had hiring/firing power?

116 they were sent 10 years ago…

In reply to by Don Chalant

they were sent 10 years ago and privately that were never meant to be read out loud. I ask you as well, have you never written something inane, offensive, or stupid to a friend about another friend that referenced something inappopriate? Have you never made off colored remarks before? And should they be brought as the reasons to be fired 10 years later?

124 How could an employer look…

How could an employer look their employees in the eyes and tell them they value inclusion while subjecting them to work with a person like that? What other choice would they have? I don't really think anything else matters in this discussion. 

127 Fat Disclaimer - this is not…

Fat Disclaimer - this is not about Gruden. This is a general question.

So I ask you. Have you made insensitive comments before?. And if so, what should be the response if they were shared to your coworkers unwittingly? Would you would be ok with them firing you and just assuming you are a bad person? That's what is to be expected?

137 I don't find it it loaded…

I don't find it it loaded. But since debating how and why it is or isn't loaded is something I am not going to do, I'd rather just state it flatly:

(once more with the astrix of this is not specific to Gruden)

we are all humans, all of us have made dumbass comments way in the past that we regret and they should not be used retroactively to burry us today. You can say...well...there is a chance to reverse the damage; but I don't think it should go that far.

If you are a poor person to get along with; you dont need 10 year old text messages to verify that to your colleagues. Statements made so long ago and said in private, to me anyways, should not be cause for firing. That's my personal viewpoint. 

141 Statements made so long ago…

Statements made so long ago and said in private, to me anyways, should not be cause for firing. That's my personal viewpoint. 

This is the reason why it's a loaded question. Make a statement which has no right answer. Either you claim you've never made dumbass comments (which, per your statement, you believe is impossible), or you claim you've made dumbass comments and therefore have a right to be fired (which, presumedly, no one would want).

The problem is you're creating a problem and a connection that doesn't exist. Who, exactly, are these people that are getting fired from comments unearthed 10 years ago? Certainly not anyone here. Or anyone I've ever known. The whole "cancel culture" thing? They're getting fired for who they are. If they aren't that same person from 10 years ago who made those awful comments... they aren't getting fired.

142 Well, no, sometimes people…

Well, no, sometimes people are getting fired now based on a false premise, or words uttered out of context, or for saying things that are empirically accurate, ir just a possibly empirically accurate as opposing views.

None of that has anything to do with Gruden, of course.

143 There's a statement by…

There's a statement by Harald Uhlig at the University of Chicago that got him suspended. It started with a rather discourteous response to defund the police that led to a comment by one of his former students.  He has tenure so firing him is onerous, but that didn't stop the howls of commentary to have him removed from review of one of the prestigious journals. Or another prestigious economist from tweeting that he's a racist. 

Or how about this incident where a woman made an off colored, idiotic comment and see the unfolding damage. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html

Or this...

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/07/14/25-times-cancel-culture-was-real/

And furthermore, your argument makes no sense. So the person is fired for who they are but it takes 10 year old private emails and texts to do it? 

 

150 There's a statement by…

There's a statement by Harald Uhlig at the University of Chicago that got him suspended.

Why do you think any of these things are related to the statements, and not the responses to them? People manage responses to crises badly all the time. It's still part of their job.

So the person is fired for who they are but it takes 10 year old private emails and texts to do it? 

Sorry, you think that people can't hide who they are or something? Is that what you're implying?

Yes, obviously, people's actual selves get revealed through stuff like this all the time.

153 If Harald Ughlig is a racist…

If Harald Ughlig is a racist, I don't think you need his tweet to find out. And if he is a closet racist but doesn't do anything to show it, who cares? It makes him unlikeable but not bad at his job. The fact that no one mentioned a word about his racism until this happened suggests something, no?

I bring up Harald because people who have been students under him have commented. They regard him as a smart person; to be sure, but they have described him as prone to foot in mouth moments and since he comes from Germany, a bit ignorant on social norms in America especially related to the past. The fact that he can't respond properly is not a cause to fire him. He was hired to teach, to do research, and to be fair handed with grading and demeanor irrespective of race. Nothing in the past X number of years till those comments surfaced suggested he violated those parts of the job. That right there is what I am talking about.

Not everyone is skilled enough to do damage control just as not everyone is artful enough to dodge every sticky situation with aplomb. That's not their jobs and certainly not what is expected of them. If you want to fire Gruden for making crazy insensitive comments; that's one thing. But if he is able to convince you he is sorry either because he really is or because he's a great politician, I am not for that because I can't tell the difference and I don't trust anyone but a trained psychologist to be able to tell the difference. 

To now retroactively expect every profession to have a perfected apology ready when dug up private messages get thrown at them is to me ridiculous.