Julian Edelman isn't one to rush to judgment of those who make insensitive comments. Still, the former New England Patriots wide receiver knows there's no place in the NFL for the language in Jon Gruden's recently uncovered e-mails.
Edelman had plenty to say about Gruden's controversial remarks, which led to the ex-Las Vegas Raiders head coach's resignation.
“You know what? We’re trying to gain inclusivity in our league,” Edelman said on 'Inside The NFL' on Paramount+. “We’ve been trying it with every form of background, sexuality, women — we have women coaches now, referees. And when you have a leader and one of the biggest faces in our league have stuff like this come out, I mean, was I surprised [that Gruden lost his job]?
"I wasn’t surprised because 70 percent of our team, our guys, are Black men. And when you have your head coach, the guy who’s supposed to set the example — and I’m not a cancel guy. I’m not a cancel culture guy. I’m all about the conversation. But if it keeps on coming out that there’s more and more and more, I think it’s just not acceptable.”
When DeSean Jackson posted an anti-Semitic quote on Instagram last year, Edelman -- who is Jewish -- reached out to the fellow NFL wideout to spark a constructive dialogue. The three-time Super Bowl champion did the same when NBAer Meyers Leonard used anti-Semitic language during a Twitch stream.
Gruden made racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments in e-mails to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen. The e-mails, which featured derogatory terms directed at NFL commissoner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, were published in a recent New York Times article.
“I don’t know Jon Gruden personally, I’ve never met him,” Edelman added. “But it’s a different situation here to think that what he said, he didn’t know that what he was saying would offend someone.”
Gruden will be replaced by Raiders special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia in the interim.