Lackluster effort today against a not-great team. Wonder if that portends anything.
At a minimum, it portends that this season will end up like the last 2.
The harm is what matters, and I agree that parsing intent centers the discussion wrongly. It’s a shitty statement and Gruden should own that and apologize without reservation.
But surely intent has to matter on some level when weighing punishment for these types of acts? I think that’s where it’s coming into the conversation on this board at least.
And those are two different things. (not suggesting you are saying otherwise.). An apology here should not include an explanation because there is no explanation, other than "I never said it.") It's not that difficult.
"Obviously, I sent that email and used those offensive words. I am sorry and ashamed. I have reached out to De Smith and Mark Davis and will speak with them directly about my inexcusable behavior." Not "I dont remember sending it." Not, "it was 10 years ago." Not, "I am really not a racist." Those are not apology words.
Punishment here, like punishment in just about every other context, should take in a larger breadth of considerations. I'm not sure there are other considerations that save his job, unless Smith himself lobbies for it, given the direct nature of the slur.