The Jon Gruden Dinosaur Hunt

Jon Gruden is a dinosaur.  The heretofore Raiders coach is very old school, unrepentant, and of the toxic masculinity persuasion, no less. 

As was swiftly evidenced, the world today has no place for such creatures.  He is another speed bump on the road to a sorry gray future of banal mediocrity called erroneously “equity,” since mere equality falls so, far, far short of what we can stoop to achieve with just a little more force.

Gruden was fired when the NFL leaked private emails it discovered in another and totally separate vital investigation into potential political incorrectness -- this one into the Washington Football Team (Who says creativity is gone?  That name captures everything: it is football, and it is a team, all rolled into one phrase: genius.) “workplace misconduct.”   Gruden wasn’t at the Football Team, he just had a friend there that he emailed, way back in the Dark Ages when they were called (gasp) the Redskins. 

This is akin to the “process crimes” the vaunted Department of “Justice” pursued for years in charging Trump affiliates for minor offenses having nothing to do with “Russian meddling.”  Except we are now beyond having to concern ourselves with any actual crime. 

In emails from ten or so years ago, some time before he took the Raiders HC job, he foolishly said what he thought when he revealed that he was against female refs in the NFL; gays in the NFL; called the then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue something unflattering and made what is called only “an insensitive remark” about a black player representative.  He said these things in emails to one or more friends.  But we got him.

If you played football, you could attest that when you are seeking compassion and a real empathetic sensitivity, someone that truly understands you and cares so much about how you are feeling, you turn instinctively to your sixty-something-year-old football coach.  It’s just expected.

The only emails of the 650,000 or so the NFL had scoured for possible “misconduct” at Washington that the NFL has leaked to the New York Times have been Gruden’s, dribbled out for maximum impact, who again, had nothing to do with Washington if even that separate set of circumstances warrants investigation.   But the takeaways are multiple:

  • You don’t challenge authority, even with your thoughts.  We saw this clearly in the “extraordinary success” of the Afghan exit, where the only person suffering repercussions from the disaster other than those killed was a Lt. Colonel who was arrested for criticizing those in charge.  He was put in the brig and his career ended. 
  • As we have seen just in the last days, even mothers speaking out against CRT at a PTA meeting are now considered “domestic terrorists” and the FBI has been alerted by the Attorney General.  Even a raised voice by a mom to a bureaucrat can lead to an assault charge against a “public servant.”   We are learning quickly what constitutes an “extremist,” are we not?
  • There are no limits to the sensitivity we publicly and reflexively attribute to all the assorted victim groups, who we are sure go into shock when they hear that someone faraway said something untoward.  This cannot stand! 
  • You should have eliminated any remaining reservations about what you are allowed to think when the Secretary of Defense laid out his priority before Congress of transforming the military into a model of equity, this idea promoted in the looming shadow of the Afghan Experience.  Did you know the Navy SEALs have not had even one transexual?  Defense Secretary Austin knows this, and all too well. 
  • Also likely, especially if you are a white male over 40 (those are the chief offenders), you may have had a discordant thought somewhere along the line, maybe ten years ago or so, and perhaps made the fatal flaw of sharing that with someone -- a friend or spouse, most likely.  This likely is weighing on your conscience, or you are sure it should be (good, you are on the road to recovery).  If you are a good comrade, you should openly share in Gruden’s guilt.  Confess your sin to the Inquisition.  Regardless, we will be checking you for dinosaur DNA soon.  We just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
  • Notice the findings of the investigation into the Washington Team are an afterthought.  There was nothing specific, but we can rest assured there was a general feeling, an air if you will, of something, well, insensitive, going on.  The investigator concluded, “The problems were compounded by inadequate HR staff and practices and the absence of an effectively and consistently administered process for reporting or addressing employee complaints, as well as a widely reported fear of retaliation,” said Beth Wilkinson, leading the investigation.
  • That’s about a perfect summation for America 2021: Fear and Fragility.   Cherish our new values.  And kudos to Beth to point out again that all organizations, maybe especially sports teams, can never have enough HR staff to address employee feelings of fear and suspicions of being treated with insufficient respect.
  • As a result of the investigation, not only was Jon Gruden fired (thank God, we are saved and feel so much safer now), but now Tanya Snyder, the owner’s wife, is the new CEO of the Football Team.  You cannot help but see the cynical humor, but it is another important step toward equity.
  • Equity has nothing to do with merit, in fact, merit is another antiquated concept that works directly against the objective of equal misery and shared hopelessness. Isn’t that what Biden meant when he promised “unity” as well as a focus on “equity”?  

There are bigots and racists and always have been.  There has also been an endless supply of stupid, ugly, disturbed, short, misguided, boorish, temperamental, and humorless people. What to do about these imperfect people?  We’ve always understood and tolerated those imperfections, and somehow we have let them, or should I say us, go on living free from persecution.

Rick McDowell, writer of political philosophy and essays on the mind at The American Perspective

Image: NFL

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