Saturday Night Live tackled the email scandal involving now-former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden — as well as the NFL’s lingering issues with race — during its latest cold open.
The sketch began with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (Colin Jost) addressing the media at a press conference. “One of our coaches is accused of racism, misogyny and homophobia, but hey, at least nobody’s talking about concussions,” Jost’s Goodell said.
“I think we can all agree the emails sent by Raiders coach Jon Gruden were horrifying and deeply offensive, especially to me. I was referred to as the f-word, the p-word, the c-word, the r-word, the f-ing r-word, and the f-ing r-word p-word.”
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The commissioner continued, “Now Coach Gruden has asked to say a few words, I said ‘Bad idea,’ but he got on his knees and begged, and you know how much I hate seeing someone kneel.”
James Austin Johnson’s Gruden then took the podium to explain himself. “I hope you won’t judge me on the one email I sent 10 years. Or the 20 emails I sent last Tuesday. I promise, I don’t have a racist bone in my body. When I called an African-American player ‘darker than a night with no stars,’ that wasn’t racial; I was referring to his sense of humor, which is really dark and edgy,” the former coach said.
“My point is, I never meant to hurt anyone. I meant to hurt them secretly, behind their backs.”
After Raiders owner Mark Davis and his oft-mocked haircut took the podium, a series of new Raiders coaches were introduced, with each promptly quitting due to their own ill-advised emails and tweets. Next, a Washington Football Team cheerleader appeared to poke some fun at the former Redskins and introduce the team’s new “white stereotype” mascot, Giuseppe the Stinky Italian.
Next up was Chris Redd’s Colin Kaepernick, who told the media, “Wow, so much stuff coming out about the NFL is maybe racist. Huh, I wonder if anyone tried to warn people about this before. I’m scratching my head trying to remember who said that. It’s almost like that’s the reason they banned me from the league.”
The press conference concluded with the Raiders announcing their new-new-new head coach, someone everyone on the Internet could agree with: Actor LeVar Burton (Kenan Thompson).
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