Home Christian News Pastor Dwight McKissic Would Like White Evangelicals to Learn From Jon Gruden

Pastor Dwight McKissic Would Like White Evangelicals to Learn From Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden
Jon Gruden as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders during practice at the team's training facility in Napa Valley, California on August 7, 2018. U.S. Air Force employee Louis Briscese of Travis AFB, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, praised the Las Vegas Raiders Monday for holding head coach Jon Gruden accountable for racist comments he made in the past. McKissic said this is a standard the white evangelical church has yet to meet with regard to John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif.

“The NFL/Raiders, have shown a stronger aversion to racism than the White evangelical church who allowed John MacArthur to call the Black Church a ‘caricature’ without any consequences,” said McKissic. “I have huge respect for The Raiders decision to dismiss Gruden in real time for racist remarks.”

Jon Gruden Resigns From the Raiders

On Monday, Jon Gruden announced his resignation as head coach of the Raiders following reports from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and the New York Times (NYT) that he had made racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments in 650,000 emails over a seven-year period while an analyst for Monday Night Football.

In a statement posted to the Raiders’ Twitter account Monday night, Gruden said, “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

The emails came to light as part of an investigation into the Washington Football Team, and many involve derogatory comments about women and the gay community. The accusations of racism against Gruden focus on a comment he made in a 2011 email, where he referred to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, saying, “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires.”  

DeMaurice Smith responded to this news in a Twitter thread in which he said: 

The email from Jon Gruden – and some of the reaction to it – confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over. This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less…I appreciate that he reached out to me & I told him that we will connect soon, but make no mistake, the news is not about what is said in our private conversation, but what else is said by people who never thought they would be exposed and how they are going to be held to account.

In a post-game press conference Sunday, Gruden addressed the comment about Smith, saying that he was not a racist. “I apologize again for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all…​​I know I don’t have an ounce of racism in me.”

Emmanual Acho, a Christian and former NFL player, took issue with that apology. Like McKissic, he believes Gruden is being held accountable (as opposed to being “canceled”), and he also addressed those who question Gruden being forced out for comments he made years ago.