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Jeff Fisher rejects Jon Gruden claim that NFL pressured Rams to draft Michael Sam

Jeff Fisher has joined the refrain of groups, gamers and contemporaries lambasting former Raiders coach Jon Gruden for the content material of emails he exchanged with former Washington Soccer Workforce president Bruce Allen from 2010 via 2018.

Fisher took specific exception to Gruden’s perception that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pressured him — then coach of the St. Louis Rams — to draft Michael Sam, just because he got here out as homosexual forward of the 2014 NFL Draft. Gruden, in an e mail to Allen, stated the NFL should not have pressured him into drafting “q—rs.”

MORE: Jon Gruden emails, defined: Raiders coach resigns following launch of damning messages

Fisher responded to that declare Tuesday night time, saying he acquired no such strain from the league. He additionally defined why St. Louis took Sam with its second-to-last decide of the draft, and bolstered his assist of the 2014 seventh-round choice:

Sam, the co-SEC Defensive Participant of the Yr in 2013, tallied 47 whole tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two passes defensed, two pressured fumbles and a fumble restoration for a landing that season. It was a 12 months during which his Missouri Tigers went 12-2 and made the SEC championship sport. He performed on the observe squads of St. Louis and Dallas in 2014 earlier than spending a while within the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes in 2015.

“As a head coach for over 20 years, we drafted or did not draft, gamers based mostly on quite a lot of qualities,” Fisher wrote of his drafting practices. “Their sexual orientation would by no means — and will by no means — play an element within the decision-making course of.”

MORE: Keyshawn Johnson blasts Gruden over emails: Former Buccaneers receiver says coach has ‘all the time been a fraud’

Sam was not the one goal of Gruden’s hateful language. The previous Buccaneers and Raiders coach — who despatched these emails whereas a colour analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night time Soccer” — additionally used a racist trope to explain former NFLPA govt director DeMaurice Smith, mocked Caitlyn Jenner following her transition and used a number of homophobic slurs to explain Goodell, league house owners and reporters who cowl the league.

Gruden introduced his resignation because the Raiders’ coach on Monday following The New York Instances’ report of stated emails, which had been uncovered by the NFL as a part of a office misconduct investigation into Allen.

MORE: Jon Gruden faraway from Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor after e mail leaks: ‘His actions go towards our core values’

Others who’ve denounced Gruden following the e-mail leaks are his former workforce, the Buccaneers, and former vast receiver Keyshawn Johnson. The NFL and Raiders additionally denounced the primary e mail that got here to mild on Friday, when Gruden informed Allen, “Dumboriss Smith has lips the scale of michellin (sic) tires.”

Fisher, who started his NFL head teaching profession in 1994 with the Houston Oilers, coached 22 years within the league. That features a five-year stint with the Rams, each in St. Louis and in Los Angeles. He went 173-165-1 as a head coach, together with 31-45 with the Rams. He final coached within the NFL in 2016.

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