Was I shocked Jon Gruden sent the racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails? Naw. Was I surprised? Hell yeah. I had been watching the man for over two decades. I had no hint of what his private life was like but assumed it mirrored his public life. And therein was the problem. As a black man living in the Bay Area, I could never be shocked to find out that a white person had said something racist in private simply because the evidence has been overwhelming. But my judgment becomes clouded obviously when we move into the one dimensional world of public life.
That's what's been troubling me the most about this whole issue. As I've repeated over and over in comments, the fact that this occurred while Jon was on ESPN is particularly disturbing because of it's own history. And I might add that the fact that the NFL was investigating the WFT and refuses to release any other emails is disturbing because of both the NFL's and the WFT's own history. If this is about rooting out evil, then we first have to establish the scope of the evil and the NFL seems intent on limiting the scope.
Now the rule of public life is that when your private life asserts itself into your public life to a sufficient extent, you have to go. It's that simple. If your face is a commodity, losing face will make you broke. That's the reason Jon Gruden is gone. The reason others who have sent similar emails, had similar types of conversations or held similar views are still working is because their private life has not become public. I would imagine those individuals are scrubbing email accounts and deleting online evidence. They will certainly be more difficult to uncover.
I have no problem with removal of a public face after it's lost face. That's the name of the game and it's YOUR job as a public figure to keep face. But I see no moral victory in any of this. None at all. Every single talking head whether here or on social media who spouts virtuous prose about the struggles against [insert issue] is a simple reminder that I know nothing more about them than the prose they're spouting. Just like I knew nothing more about Jon Gruden for 2 decades. And that's troubling. If it took an NFL investigation into the WFT and Bruce Allen's stupidity for me to find out what Jon was like, it's going to take the same types of unique circumstances each time unless we begin insisting that their private lives be made public before they're selected and monitored after selection.
At that point, it begins to feel like the Thought Police. I've seen enough comments on SBP in the past few years to know if a public official were attached to that comment, there would be trouble in their public life. The "misogynistic" images shared by Jon and Bruce were standard fare here a few years ago. We all know what happened to Raiderdamus when satire was reinterpreted. One person's satire may be offensive to another person so what should we do. What I do know is that the private lives of people are as fragmented as this country. We can't agree on anything and unless we begin to have a dialogue that includes both sides, we're going to be looking at more than one Thought Police whether we like it or not. That's why there is no moral victory in this for me. Same shit, different day.