Skechers is breaking with former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden as a brand ambassador after recently unearthed emails revealed that he made derogatory comments over several years.
News of the separation was first reported by USA Today. The company confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday that Gruden’s contract had been terminated.
Jennifer Clay, Skechers vice president of corporate communications, told USA Today that the company was “aware of the recent press reporting on the emails of Jon Gruden, which caused him to resign his N.F.L. coaching position.”
“Upon learning of these developments, we immediately terminated Mr. Gruden’s endorsement contract and our affiliation with him,” said Clay, adding that the company believes in “equality, fostering tolerance and understanding for all people.”
“We believe taking a stand against racist or derogatory comments and for inclusion of all is imperative,” Clay added.
Gruden resigned on Monday after news outlets reported that he made homophobic, racist and sexist comments in emails while he was an ESPN broadcaster between 2011 and 2018.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Gruden said in an email to Bruce Allen, the former president of what is now the Washington Football Team, that NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith had “lips the size of michellin tires” in a 2011 email.
On Monday, The New York Times reported that Gruden told Allen in another email describing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “f-----” and “clueless anti football p----” while working as an analyst for “Monday Night Football.”
In a statement announcing his resignation, Gruden said, “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,” he added.