Legendary wide receiver Randy Moss delivered an emotional statement on a recent episode of ESPN's NFL Countdown. While discussing racist comments Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden made toward NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith that were recently uncovered, Moss explained that he was "hurt" because he felt the league was "moving back and not forward."
As he dove deeper into the topic, Moss mentioned how Gruden's comments impacted him personally because of his own experiences. The iconic athlete teared up as he explained "civil rights were kinda messed with in high school over the color of my skin."
"We talk about leadership. We give guys these big contracts because they want to be able of lead 70 men, coaches, equipment staff and managers to the No. 1 goal and that's to win a championship," Moss told his colleagues and millions of viewers across the world.
"And for us to be moving back and not forward ... National Football League, this hurts me. The clock is ticking, man. I'm sorry."
Moss is one of many people to take issue with the comments that Gruden made toward Smith in a 2011 email that was uncovered this month. Among other things, Gruden mocked the size of Smith's lips and compared their size to car tires.
"Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires,” he wrote, according to The Spun.
Shortly after Gruden's comments were shared with football fans from across the world, Smith issued a statement. As the NFLPA chief puts it, Gruden's comment is not the "first racist comment" he's endured and will "probably will not be the last."
“This is not the first racist comment that I’ve heard and it probably will not be the last. This is a thick skin job for someone with dark skin, just like it always has been for many people who look like me and work in corporate America,” Smith said, according to The Spun.
“You know people are sometimes saying things behind your back that are racist just like you see people talk and write about you using thinly coded and racist language.”
Adding to Smith's response, Gruden also issued an apology. The Las Vegas Raiders coach said that he was "upset" at the time and he is "sorry" for the comments he made.
“I was upset. I used a horrible way of explaining it," Gruden stated.
“I don’t think he’s dumb. I don’t think he’s a liar. I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years.”