Keyshawn Johnson on his time with Jon Gruden: ‘He's a bad guy. And he's a fraud.'

Asia's Tech News Daily

Flashback time. It was 2003, early in the season. I’m sitting in the front passenger seat of Keyshawn Johnson’s car, parked outside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers complex that players call “One Buc Place.”

We talked for roughly an hour after practice, in what was at the time, largely an off-the-record conversation. The star receiver on a team defending a Super Bowl championship, Johnson vented hard about his relationship with his coach, Jon Gruden, and told me that he had reached a point of no return.

He wanted out. Johnson had just put his house on the market, despite having several years remaining on the eight-year, $56 million extension that made him the NFL’s highest-paid receiver.  

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

He summed up his beef with Gruden that day as follows: I want to strangle him.

This was a few years after the NBA suspended Warriors guard Latrell Sprewell for a year  after attacking his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, during an altercation at practice.

“Yeah, I wanted to strangle that (expletive),” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports this week, reflecting in the aftermath of Gruden’s resignation from the Raiders. “That (expletive) tried to make people think I was a true problem, man. That (stuff) was crazy to me. It was like he went out of his way at times to make people have a certain narrative about who I was.

“It’s almost like he deliberately thought he was going to take the love of the game away from me … like that was his mission, to try to hurt me and ruin my career. That’s what it felt like he was really trying to do. That wasn’t going to happen. He (messed) with the wrong dude.”

NANCY ARMOUR: NFL attorney must be held accountable if Goodell is sincere about `protecting shield’

MIKE JONES: Being bold has always been the Raider way. Silent owner Mark Davis has forgotten that.

Johnson’s tenure with the Bucs ended when Gruden deactivated him (with pay) for the final seven games of the 2003 season and the new GM, Bruce Allen, who at the time succeeded Rich McKay but is now better known his email exchanges with Gruden, swung a trade with the Dallas Cowboys the next spring that reunited the receiver with Bill Parcells.

It is hardly surprising that Johnson, for years a high-profile national broadcaster and currently the co-host of a popular show on ESPN Radio, hasn’t pulled punches in assessing Gruden’s downfall. No player had a dispute with the ex-coach that was as public as the rift with Johnson, the former No. 1 overall pick the Bucs had obtained from the New York Jets two years before Gruden replaced an ousted Tony Dungy.

© Rainier Ehrhardt, AP Keyshawn Johnson called Jon Gruden a “fraud” and compared him to a used car salesman during his ESPN morning radio show.

Gruden resigned on Monday with his reputation destroyed after leaked emails stemming from an investigation of the workplace culture of the Washington Football Team, exposed racist, misogynistic and homophobic rants by the ex-coach, in addition to other vulgar assertions that attacked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Bucs owners, during exchanges with Allen, formerly Washington’s president.

“I never take a thrill watching somebody’s demise,” Johnson maintained. “That’s not for me to judge. But he didn’t fool me. He fooled everybody else. I’ve been telling people for 20 years, ‘He’s a bad guy. And he’s a fraud.

“Think about it, man. When you sat in that car with me, how (ticked) I was. This was after our Super Bowl and I didn’t want to be around this dude, didn’t want to be a part of him because I saw how he treated people.”

The fallout for Gruden included the Bucs removing him from the team’s Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium. That likely would have happened even if it wasn’t revealed in the emails, reported by The New York Times, that Gruden suggested to Allen that the Glazers to perform oral sex on him.

The leaked emails, with the initial blast reported by The Wall Street Journal, when Gruden disparaged NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith in a racially-tinged tirade in 2011, came from a trove of 650,000 emails collected as part of the investigation into alleged sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct with Washington’s franchise.

You’re sitting there smiling in their face,” Johnson said, speaking of the Glazers. “They gave you a Ring of Honor (ceremony) and you want them to (perform oral sex)? And then Bruce Allen talking about, ‘They probably would.’ This goes back to the fraudulent behavior. You know how they do investigations on players when they go to interview them at the combine? They didn’t do no investigation on his ass.”

Johnson’s disconnect with Gruden began as a football issue stemming from how he was used in the team’s offense. It morphed into a personal issue between two strong-willed personalities that involved classic relationship pitfalls that included mistrust, disrespect, ego and power.

“All I wanted to do was play football, be happy, win games,” Johnson said. “But he wanted to turn it into a power struggle and pissing match.”

© SCOTT AUDETTE, Associated Press Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson stiff arms Green Bay Packers linebacker Na’il Diggs on Nov. 24, 2002 in Tampa, Fla.

Interestingly, Johnson said that at the time he did not view his differences with Gruden as related to race.

“His bigotry? That behavior? I never saw that,” Johnson allowed. “I could never say that the dude was a racist. But I saw how (messed) up he was and how he treated people. That was a bigger issue with me than anything. Just lying to be lying…not being authentic but being problematic. That was an issue when you try to make everybody believe I was the issue and had people believing that (stuff).”

In retrospect, Johnson believes there were indeed racial overtones associated with his rift.

“A coach who is white, against a Black player, for the most part is always going to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to proving their point because white America wants to listen to the white guy,” Johnson asserts. “White media wants to listen to the white guy, even though I had a bunch of white media friends, like, ‘Yeah, we see the dude.’ But in the end, he could say anything and they would write it because they would believe him based on him winning a Super Bowl.”

Agree with him or not, there’s no dispute that Johnson, who wrote a book titled, “Just Give Me the Damn Ball” after his rookie season, is hardly shy about voicing his opinions. That always made him more human in an environment where many players are so often programmed to avoid deep expressions about hot-button issues.

In light of what’s been exposed recently about Gruden’s opinions, particularly as it relates to race, Johnson says that he can connect the dots to see a pattern. He mentioned that Gruden had just one Black coordinator, Willie Shaw (1998-99), during his head coaching stints and bemoaned that after Gruden returned to the Raiders in 2018, GM Reggie McKenzie, an African-American, was fired and replaced by Mike Mayock, who was widely respected as a draft analyst for the NFL Network but had no previous experience with an NFL team.

“He fired Reggie McKenzie to bring in a white dude that ain’t never ever, ever, ever been in a front office,” Johnson said. “You want to connect the dots even more? Think about who he was sending emails to. Bruce Allen, whose brother George was the Governor of Virginia who had the racial epithet . The apple doesn’t fall too far from that tree. You start to put everything together and that’s who he is.”

Listening to Johnson, speaking from Los Angeles, and it’s a lot like sitting next to him in his car outside One Buc Place nearly 20 years ago.

“I can’t take joy watching him fall from the mountaintop,” Johnson insists. “That ain’t in my blood. As much as I despise him, I’m not the judge.”

Regardless, it’s a good thing that Johnson never strangled his former coach.

Jon Gruden during his final game as Las Vegas Raiders head coach, a 20-9 defeat to the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium on Oct. 10, 2021. Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts following a penalty in the second half against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Dec. 29, 2019. Jon Gruden celebrates with fans after a 26-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Coliseum on Nov. 7, 2019. Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and an NFL Films cameraman filming for the HBO series “Hard Knocks” during training camp on July 29, 2019, in Napa, California. Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden talks with team owner Mark Davis during an NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs in Oakland, Calif., on March 8, 2018. Oakland Raiders new head coach Jon Gruden poses for photographs next to owner Mark Davis (left) and general manager Reggie McKenzie during his introduction press conference on Jan. 9, 2018. ESPN broadcaster and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden walks with his brother, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, after practice at the team’s training facility in Richmond, Virginia, on July 25, 2014. Jon Gruden runs onto the field as the Buccaneers honor their 2002 Super Bowl-winning team on Dec. 9, 2012. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden during the 2011 NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 28, 2011. ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden before a game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 14, 2009. Jon Gruden grimaces as he speaks to the media during his weekly news conference on Dec. 29, 2008 in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers lost to the Oakland Raiders 31-24 in the season finale, finishing the season at 9-7 and out of the playoffs. He was fired by the Buccaneers after the 2008 season. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA on Jan. 26, 2003. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden is doused by players Derrick Brooks (left) and John Lynch (47) after the Bucs defeated the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego on Jan. 26, 2003. Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden shouts during his team’s 16-13 overtime loss in the “Tuck Rule” game against the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional playoffs in Foxboro, Mass. on Jan. 19, 2002. Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden and kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) celebrate the Raiders’ 27-0 win over the Miami Dolphins during the final moments of the AFC divisional playoff game at the Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Jan. 6, 2001. Jon Gruden smiles as he is introduced as the new Oakland Raiders head coach at a news conference on Jan. 27, 1998. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Rodney Peete talks with offensive coordinator Jon Gruden during practice on Aug. 7, 1997 at Eagles training camp in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Eagles QB Randall Cunningham and offensive coordinator Jon Gruden talk strategy during training camp on July 26, 1995.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Keyshawn Johnson on his time with Jon Gruden: ‘He’s a bad guy. And he’s a fraud.’

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Belfast woman charged after allegedly trying to attack teenager at home

Dec. 3—A Belfast woman was arrested this week after a back-and-forth on social media allegedly devolved into an in-person fight with a 14-year-old girl. The incident escalated at about 10 ... Read more »

4th man arrested in shooting death of teen in Machias

Dec. 3—A fourth man was arrested early Friday morning in connection with last month's slaying of a 17-year-old in Machias. Jorge Pagan-Sanchez, 41, of Taunton, Massachusetts, was charged with felony ... Read more »

Cyclone Jawad: Indian Navy ramps up rescue operations, Odisha shuts schools ahead of landfall

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: As Cyclone Jawad is likely to hit south Odisha and North Andhra Pradesh on Saturday (December 4, 2021), the Indian Navy said that ... Read more »

Omicron: Doctors' meet in Bengaluru super-spreader event?

© Provided by The Times of India BENGALURU: An international medical conference at a star hotel in Bengaluru from November 19-21 is under the scanner after at least three doctors ... Read more »

Real estate lawyer who allegedly stole $14 million from clients to take plea deal

Mitchell Kossoff is accused of nabbing approximately $14 million from his clients that was in an escrow account. Steven Hirsch A prominent real estate lawyer who allegedly made off with ... Read more »

Thursday's stabbing over a parking dispute marks 35th homicide in St. Paul, most on record

Dec. 3—The stabbing of a man Thursday night that broke St. Paul's record for the most homicides in one year, happened over a parking dispute, according to authorities. Brian Harry ... Read more »

Warrant issued for New Florence man acquitted in 2015 police officer killing

Dec. 3—A Westmoreland County judge issued an arrest warrant Friday for a New Florence man who was acquitted in the 2015 killing of a St. Clair Township police officer. Common ... Read more »

DHS eyes Chinese airline employees suspected of spying

Crew members of a Chinese state commercial airline are suspected of spying at U.S. airports, according to a Department of Homeland Security intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. DHS employees ... Read more »

New York must end cashless bail before the list of victims grows even longer

Across New York, communities large and small are grappling with spikes in violent crime, police-budget cuts and political leaders hostile to law enforcement while taking the side of criminals. Getty ... Read more »

Super Smash Bros. Melee is 20 years old in North America

© Provided by Dot Esports Super Smash Bros. Melee is celebrating two decades since it first brought friends together and forced them to brawl on the Nintendo GameCube shortly after ... Read more »

I'm a mum and I'm not buying my baby anything for Christmas – it's a waste of money and you should do the same

CHRISTMAS is a stressful time for many – with presents to buy, food to put on the table and decorations to kit out the house, it’s a tough time for ... Read more »

WHO chief scientist says Omicron ‘quite infectious', must not panic

© Provided by Interaksyon The World Health Organization’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told Reuters on Friday that while the new coronavirus variant Omicron appeared to be very transmissible, the right response was ... Read more »

PNP COVID-19 cases reach 42,208

Philippine National Police building The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday said five new coronavirus infections were recorded among its personnel, driving up the total COVID-19 cases to 42,208. Of ... Read more »

Is Chorus multiplayer? Answered.

© Provided by GamePur Chorus is an epic space adventure set in the outer rim of space, and as you explore this beautiful landscape, you may long to have a ... Read more »

How to change the avatar appearance in Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain

© Provided by GamePur Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain has finally arrived on the Nintendo Switch, where you can play against your family and friends from anywhere in the ... Read more »

Cristiano Ronaldo 'a big DOUBT for Man United against Crystal Palace'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly a major doubt for Manchester United‘s match against Crystal Palace on Sunday due to a knee injury. The 36-year-old ... Read more »

Pep Guardiola is 'in love' with Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Juventus were already in the hunt for Dusan Vlahovic and Manchester City have now joined Europe’s elite in the ... Read more »

Arsenal 'have scouted Lille forward Jonathan David this season'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Arsenal are reportedly tracking Lille forward Jonathan David amid their search for a new striker which is expected to heat up next summer. ... Read more »

Libra horoscope today 4 Dec 2021: You will achieve success at work!

What will your day look like in terms of health, romance, finance and fortune? Read everything here. Prediction: You are likely to receive some good offers. There is a possibility ... Read more »

No. 5 UCLA at Washington canceled due to COVID-19 issues

SEATTLE (AP) — No. 5 UCLA’s game at Washington on Sunday has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues in the Huskies’ program. The game won’t be rescheduled and it will ... Read more »

Colorado shooting suspect 'mentally incompetent'

Experts have found a man charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket earlier this year is mentally incompetent to stand trial for now, attorneys said during a court ... Read more »

Vanessa Williams Shares Her Best Pageant Advice for 'Queen of the Universe' Competitors (Exclusive)

© ET Vanessa Williams is offering up her advice. The 58-year-old actress co-hosts Friday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight, and tells ET’s Nischelle Turner her best advice for the contestants on Queen of the ... Read more »

Takreem Awards celebrate Arab excellence and honour crises-hit Beirut

© takree Founded in 2009 by television personality Ricardo Karam, Takreem is a non-profit organisation that honours Arabs for their contributions to culture, science, education, environmental studies, humanitarian services and ... Read more »

U.S., Russia make progress toward resolving diplomats spat -State Dept

© Reuters/Grigory Dukor FILE PHOTO: Vehicles drive past the embassy of the U.S. in Moscow WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Russia have made progress toward resolving a stand-off ... Read more »

S'porean celebs fly away into the blue skies as VTL opens

Singapore — Singaporean celebrities have taken the opportunity to quickly escape to paradise and experience a new breath of fresh air in some of the most beautiful places on planet ... Read more »

These Low-Fat Thai Sticky Rice Chips Are Made With a Surprising Ingredient: Watermelon Juice

The beautiful crunch I hear when I bite into a folded potato chip is a snacking moment I savor, but I think I might have just found a new favorite ... Read more »

Fire official: Gas odor after blast razes Oklahoma City home

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Fire crews on the scene after an explosion leveled a house in Oklahoma City on Friday could smell gas, a fire official said. Neighbors reported the ... Read more »

Event to mark 100 yrs of PAC begins today

© Provided by The Indian Express WHILE PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has been invited for the two-day centennial celebrations of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the weekend, he is ... Read more »

PM Narendra Modi to visit Dehradun today to inaugurate, lay foundation stone of projects worth Rs 18,000 crore

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Dehradun today (December 4, 2021) to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple projects worth around ... Read more »

Asked about border COVID cases, Fauci says Omicron likely to spread anyway

Chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci argued with Fox News host Neil Cavuto that the Omicron variant will spread through migrants regardless of restrictions. Fox Business Asked about concerns of Omicron ... Read more »

Pestering women in the street and in pubs could become offence under plans to outlaw ‘public sexual harassment'

PESTERING women on the street and in pubs could soon become an offence as part of an overhaul of laws to protect females against violence. Loopholes in current laws mean ... Read more »

Should you line your nest egg with Ethereum? Could it help you retire early?

Cryptocurrency investments have gotten a lot of attention lately, due in part to the huge returns that some, like Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), have generated. What is Ethereum? It is a ... Read more »

Coronation Street fans fear Stu will die after getting trapped in Speed Daal fire

Coronation Street fans were left fearing for Stu on Friday’s episode after he got trapped in the Speed Daal fire. During the latest instalment on the cobbles, Zeedan Nazir set ... Read more »

Suspect in 2016 Aiken County murder to be released after 2 mistrials, almost 5 years in jail

Dec. 3—After spending almost five years in jail, Dawon Wells, who was charged in Denzel Bates' murder, is set to be released from the Aiken County detention center next week. ... Read more »

Second evaluation finds Denver grocery store shooting suspect incompetent to stand trial

A second evaluation of the man accused of shooting and killing 10 people at a Denver grocery store found he is incompetent to stand trial. Judge Ingrid Bakke ruled Friday ... Read more »

Paterson sets record for homicides in second-straight year with latest fatal shooting

Paterson set a record for homicides for the second-straight year with the shooting Thursday night of a woman in the 4th Ward, officials said. The victim, 25-year-old Jasmin Wel, became ... Read more »

Soccer-Real Madrid's Benzema gets suspended jail term in sex tape trial

By Layli Foroudi © Reuters/GONZALO FUENTES World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Group D – France v Kazakhstan VERSAILLES, France (Reuters) -France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was found ... Read more »

Legal experts on Alec Baldwin's risky ABC News interview: 'It's really a no-upside situation'

A distraught Alec Baldwin outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Fe, N.M. (Jim Weber / Santa Fe New Mexican via AP) In his prime-time interview with ABC ... Read more »

Man sentenced to prison in burglary, chase

Dec. 3—An Albert Lea man charged in August with breaking into a garage and then fleeing police in a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance was ... Read more »

Why Indian-born CEOs dominate Silicon Valley

© Twitter Parag Agrawal succeeds Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who is stepping down Parag Agrawal, who was appointed this week as Twitter’s CEO, has joined at least a dozen other ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic