Sports

‘Just sad about it’: Rams’ Sean McVay speaks on resignation of mentor Jon Gruden

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay called the situation surrounding former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden, also McVay’s mentor and former boss, “unfortunate” and “sad.”

“It’s really an unfortunate situation that’s gone on with the Raiders and coach Gruden,” McVay said to open his routine pre-practice news conference on Wednesday. “Hated that so many people have been negatively affected by this, thoughts and prayers are with all those people that are, and really just want to leave it at that.”

Gruden resigned from his position Monday night following a New York Times report that revealed leaked emails from him that used racist, misogynistic and anti-gay language. McVay’s uncle, Jim McVay, was among recipients listed on some of the emails, which were part of a league investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team.

When Gruden served as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he hired McVay for his first NFL job, naming him an assistant receivers coach in 2008.

Since becoming head coach of the Rams, the 35-year-old McVay has repeatedly expressed gratitude and appreciation for what Gruden, 58, has meant to him and his family, while emphasizing how much it’s meant to have Gruden as a mentor.

Despite an initial effort to focus Wednesday’s news conference on the Rams’ (4-1) upcoming matchup at the 1-4 New York Giants (1 p.m. ET, Fox), McVay answered 10 questions regarding Gruden’s situation.

“Just sad about it,” McVay said when asked for his reaction to the content of Gruden’s emails. “It’s unfortunate and just want to really leave it at that.”

When asked to clarify what aspect of the situation caused him sadness, whether it be the content or the fallout for Gruden, McVay expanded.

“All of the above,” McVay said. “I just think it’s a really unfortunate circumstance. So I’m sad for the many people that have been negatively affected, anybody that was offended by this, there’s a lot of families, there’s a lot of things that go into this and there’s a lot of people that have been affected and that’s what I’m sad about. It’s kind of a sad commentary all around and it’s unfortunate that we’re even talking about it right now.”

McVay said he has not been in contact with Gruden since the news of his resignation broke and despite coaching for the Washington Football Team from 2010 to 2016, McVay said he was not contacted by the NFL as part of its investigation.

Despite McVay’s longstanding relationship with Gruden, McVay said the content of Gruden’s emails came as a surprise.

“All I know is I can only speak on my individual interactions with him,” McVay said. “I haven’t seen any of those types of things that you would expect, that kind of stuff to come out in writing or whatever. We are responsible for the things that we do say, but I have not seen that side of him and I was surprised by that.”

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