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  • Writer's pictureShawn Papi

Raiders Legend Art Shell on Jon Gruden: 'He Hurt a Lot of People'

Art Shell, former player and head coach for the Raiders when they were in Oakland and Los Angeles, spoke about the offensive emails from Jon Gruden that led to his resignation as Raiders coach.

Speaking to Tashan Reed of The Athletic, Shell called Gruden's comments "disappointing.

"He hurt a lot of people," Shell added. "He hurt himself, too. I mean, I think everybody’s shocked. I was in shock."

Gruden announced his resignation as Raiders head coach on Monday. The decision came after Ken Belson and Katherine Rosman of the New York Times reported the 58-year-old used racist, anti-gay, anti-trans and misogynistic language in a series of emails between 2010 and 2018 in emails that were uncovered by the NFL as part of an investigation into workplace misconduct involving the Washington Football Team.

The New York Times report was the second story released about Gruden using offensive language in emails.

Last week, Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal published a report about Gruden saying that DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, has "lips the size of michellin tires" in a July 2011 email sent to then-Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen.

"It’s just an unfortunate thing that in today’s world those kinds of thoughts are out there," Shell said about his reaction to reading the emails. "You’d like to think the world is changing. But for some, it’s not. And to put it out there like that? Wow. That was just astonishing to me."

"It’s an unfortunate thing that it happened, but it did. So you can’t bury your head in the ground. You gotta move forward. You gotta be positive and move forward as quickly and as fast as you can. The rest of it will take care of itself. Mark will handle the other stuff, but this coach (Rich Bisaccia) has gotta make sure they take care of that football team and get that football team ready to play."

Shell has ties with the Raiders dating back to 1968, when he was a third-round draft pick by the organization. He spent his entire 15-year playing career with the Raiders.

After his playing days ended, Shell moved into the coaching ranks. He was the Raiders head coach for seven seasons over two stints. The South Carolina native went 56-52 and led them to the playoffs three times, including an appearance in the 1990 AFC Championship Game.

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