New Orleans Saints safety D.J. Swearinger spent two years with the Washington football team, starting in all 31 of his appearances from 2017 to 2018. This time, of course, also happened to be under Jay Gruden's era as head coach, which unceremoniously came to an end last year, five games into his sixth season with the team.
Gruden's departure and the subsequent hiring of Ron Rivera as the team's new coach at the end of the year marked the beginning of a culture change in Washington, a swift house-cleaning that came to a head Thursday when 15 women accused several former team executives of sexual harassment and verbal abuse in a Washington Post story.
Gruden was not among those accused by the women, but a text thread revealed Friday by Swearinger shows he may have been unprofessional in other ways.
Swearinger posted a screenshot on Instagram of the text messages, allegedly between himself and Gruden. On 9:46 p.m. of Dec. 9, 2018, Swearinger received a text that said "Wanna play ? Let's f------ play." After Swearinger asked who it was texting him, and the sender revealed that it was Jay Gruden, the two agreed to meet the following day to squash whatever the issue was.https://www.instagram.com/p/CCwOHXjg78C/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Earlier that day, Washington was blown out at home by the New York Giants, 40-17. In the caption of his post, Swearinger said it turned out Gruden was upset about something he was told Swearinger said about him in an interview after the game. After Gruden saw the interview for himself, Swearinger said, "he realized that person was lying & he actually agreed with everything I said."
"Soooo as a player how would you look @ your coach for the rest of the season?!" Swearinger said. "How can you motivate yourself to play for a guy who talks to you less than a man?! Being the man I am I couldn’t be myself after this & that is what lead me to my last interview in which I said a few things that were true but not on the right stage or platform. Understand It’s A Cause & Effect To Everything In Life!!!
"I Was Gonna Give The Man A Pass but after what’s going on with that organization with women! They all need to be exposed. I have a daughter to raise!"
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