Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders Head Coach To Be, Backed Avis Davidson Black Republican For Tampa City Council
Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders Head Coach to be, not only is listed as a registered Republican, but also has been active in supporting GOP candidates even for local office. Indeed, from my research to date, which I admit has not been extensive, I have been able to determine that Gruden is far more active in politics than his would-be predecessor Jack Del Rio – save for the fact that both are Republican.
Del Rio’s GOP leanings came out twice: in his Twitter-based defense of Fox News Commentator Sean Hannity May 24th 2017, and in Del Rio’s wife Linda’s tweet that she “regrets” voting for Donald Trump. (And we have to ask if Coach Del Rio talked her into that pick, since he’s apparently such a fan of the right-wing Sean Hannity?) Beyond that, there’s no obvious listing for the pair in the area of political donations and fundraiders.
But that’s not true for Jon Gruden.
ESPN Analyst Jon Gruden held a fundraiser for an African American former school teacher, who’s also Republican, Avis Davidson, in 2016. Ms. Davidson ran for an open seat on the Tampa Bay City Council. To help her raise money, the Gruden’s, Jon and Cindy, held an event at their home Thursday, September 8th, 2016. Their, the Grudens’ raised $8,000 for Ms. Davidson’s campaign. Unfortunately, she lost a very close race for the spot by just 65 votes – and even though she was out-raised by her opponents, Gruden’s star-power gave her great visibility. But the fact here is Jon Gruden has been active in helping GOP party election hopefuls seek office, regardless of color.
Why is this important? To ask that at a time just after the NFL Protests is a real head-scratcher. It opens up a lot of questions: given the political leanings of Gruden and Del Rio, is the National Football League, in total, a sports organization that consists of mostly white GOP-favoring head coaches directing mostly black Democrat-leaning players? Is the reason why the Rooney Rule (which says that an NFL team must interview a minority coach for a head coach or assistant coach position) given only lip service because of a buddy system where white, conservative, coaches back their friends – unless they happen to know of a black coach who’s Republican?
All of those questions are on the table. Given that Diddy, Step Curry, and Colin Kaepernick want to buy the Carolina Panthers to combat institutional racism, this information becomes supremely important.