The sketch featured jabs at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Gruden, Raiders owner Mark Davis, Colin Kaepernick and even actor Levar Burton.
Goodell, played by Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost, was brought on to try and explain the trouble, which included Gruden getting caught using a racist trope to describe him in a 2011 email that surfaced last week.
‘Hi, I’m NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and when you see me on TV, it’s never good,’ Jost says as the embattled commissioner.
‘This time, one of our coaches is accused of racism, misogyny, and homophobia, but hey, at least no one’s talking about concussions,’ he added.
He then pointed out that the emails also featured several snipes at him.
‘I think we can all agree the emails sent by Raiders coach Jon Gruden were horrifying and deeply offensive, especially to me,’ he said.
Saturday Night Live opened up the third episode of its 47th season with a sketch mocking the NFL’s recent email controversy that cost Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden his job. Colin Jost portrayed Commissioner Roger Goodell
New cast member James Austin Johnson was then introduced as Gruden, who apologized, somewhat
He then listed a series of disguised slurs that Gruden had allegedly called him in the emails before moving on to promise better from the league.
‘But I assure you that all 32 teams understand that diversity is our strength. And I know our black coaches would agree, both of them,’ he said, referencing a true fact regarding the league’s coaches.
The sketch then segued for the first of many references into former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick.
‘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 to see someone kneeling,’ Goodell said, referencing the campaign of kneeling for the national anthem begun by the former 49ers quarterback.
New cast member James Austin Johnson was then introduced as Gruden, who apologized, somewhat.
‘I’m sorry to all the Raiders fans out there, hope you won’t judge me on one email I sent 10 years ago — or the 20 emails I sent last Tuesday,’ he said.
Raiders owner Mark Davis, played by Alex Moffat, promised higher standards in the future.
Raiders owner Mark Davis, played by Alex Moffat, who promised higher standards in the future
‘What Coach Gruden did was disgraceful. We need to, as I tell my barber, aim higher,’ said Moffat as the uniquely quaffed Davis, whom he then said ‘looks like Donald Trump’s haircut gave me a haircut’
Pete Davidson then came on as immediately resigning Raiders interim head coach Larry Rucker
Andrew Dismukes then played an ex-equipment manager quickly promoted to Raiders head coach who was immediately then fired for offensive old tweets
‘What Coach Gruden did was disgraceful. We need to, as I tell my barber, aim higher,’ said Moffat as the uniquely quaffed Davis, whom he then said ‘looks like Donald Trump’s haircut gave me a haircut.’
The sketch wrapped up on a series of unexpected turns, first to a Washington Football Team cheerleader played by Heidi Gardner, who’d been dubbed the league’s new ‘Chairman of Women’s Relations.’
‘I, just like my team, don’t have a name,’ she joked.
‘The emails Jon Gruden sent to our organization do not reflect the values of our team. A team that, a year ago, was called the Redskins,’ she added.
Then, to prove the league was moving forward ‘to smooth everything over … we’ve made a lot of progress, we’re using only white stereotypes. Now introducing … Giuseppe, the Stinky Italian!’
Kyle Mooney then made a brief appearance as a man dressed as a caricatured Italian, not dissimilar to Super Mario from the Nintendo series.
The sketch wrapped up on a series of unexpected turns, first to a Washington Football Team cheerleader played by Heidi Gardner, who’d been dubbed the league’s new ‘Chairman of Women’s Relations’
She then introduced a new mascot for the team, claiming the organization was only making fun of ‘white stereotypes,’ with Kyle Mooney portraying ‘Giuseppe the Stinky Italian’
Chris Redd then came on as Colin Kaepernick, who pointed out that he’s been aware of the league’s problem with race for years. ‘I wonder if anyone tried to warn people about this before? I’m scratching my head trying to remember who said that,’ he quipped
In the end, the league attempted to both solve the recent controversy over him not being allowed to host Jeopardy by making Levar Burton, as portrayed by Kenan Thompson, the new head coach of the Raiders
The entire cast of the sketch appeared at center stage to say the famous intro, ‘Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!’
They were both interrupted by Colin Kaepernick, this time portrayed by Chris Redd.
‘Wow, so much stuff coming out about the NFL is maybe racist, kinda. 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,’ Redd as Kaepernick said.
In the end, the show portrayed the league as trying to please everyone by naming actor Levar Burton, as portrayed by Kenan Thompson, the new head coach of the Raiders in the wake of the recent outrage that he didn’t get to host Jeopardy permanently.
‘I am the supreme football host now,’ he said, obviously not understanding football.
‘I’ll take offense for 300. What is a handoff? I’m genuinely asking, I was a theater kid,’ he asked.
The show also made several jabs at the league and its refusal to employ Kaepernick during Weekend Update with Jost and co-anchor Michael Che.
In the emails that were leaked to The New York Times this week, Gruden used several anti-gay slurs, such as ‘f******’ and ‘queers,’ in addition to other racist and misogynistic terminology. In another email that was leaked to The Wall Street Journal last week, Gruden told Allen in 2011 that Smith, who is African American, had ‘lips the size of Michelin tires.’
NFL players’ union chief DeMaurice Smith wants to see more internal team emails to uncover the pervasiveness of racism around the league after Jon Gruden was caught using a racist trope to describe Smith in a 2011 email that surfaced last week
Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday after emails he sent to then-Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen between 2011 and 2018 surfaced showing him using racist, misogynistic and homophobic language to criticize league figures
In an emailed response to DailyMail.com, an NFL spokesman flatly denied the accusation that the league is covering for WFT owner Dan Snyder (left). In this file photo, Snyder is pictured alongside former WFT executive Bruce Allen (right), who was the recipient of Gruden’s emails
The WFT, which is valued in the billions, was fined $10 million by the NFL and owner Dan Snyder stepped away from day-to-day operations for a period of months, but there was no written report of lawyer Beth Wilkinson’s inquiry.
Since the Gruden emails surfaced, there have been other calls to reveal the findings of the league inquiry, including any emails that may have been sent by Snyder or his top lieutenants.
Lisa Banks, an attorney for the 40 former WFT employees involved in the investigation, agreed with a CNN interviewer on Wednesday that Gruden has been a ‘fall guy’ for the league.
‘Obviously what [Gruden] did and what he wrote was terrible, and he probably deserves to lose his job, but it’s telling that the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders is the only one to lose their job after a 10-month investigation into the Washington Football Team and its culture,’ Banks told CNN.
“There’s a lot of damning information about the Washington Football Team and about its owner… The league decided that it was going to protect the owner and ignore the women,” says Lisa Banks, attorney for former employees of the Washington Football Teamhttps://t.co/LD1oKUOKfJ pic.twitter.com/THr9FpwkFt
— New Day (@NewDay) October 13, 2021
The NFL is facing increased demands from the NFL players’ union and attorneys representing former Washington Football Team employees to release the findings of its 10-month investigation into sexual harassment and hostile workplace allegations against club
After nearly a year of demanding the NFL to release its report, Banks said she believes that damning information about the WFT has yet to be revealed.
‘Based on my knowledge and based on my 40 clients and what they provided to the investigators, I know that there’s a lot of damning information about the Washington Football Team and about its owner,’ she said. ‘And I’m sure that there was going to be embarrassing information in that report and for whatever reason, the league decided that it was going to protect the owner and ignore the women.’
In an emailed response to DailyMail.com, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy flatly denied the accusation that the league is covering for Snyder: ‘We are not.’
Banks sees the NFLPA’s involvement as a part of a growing push for the release of the investigation report. She also expects corporate sponsors to step forward as they did last year, when Native American groups successfully pushed for the WFT to drop its nickname, the Redskins, because it is offensive to many indigenous people.
‘I think there’s building momentum here,’ Banks told CNN. ‘There has been a lot of pressure on the league to release the findings along the way. And not just from me and my clients, but from a number of their organizations and policy groups, and now the NFLPA.
‘I expect that sooner rather than later, we’re going to hear from corporate America too. We have a lot of large sponsors that support the NFL who cannot be in favor of sweeping these types of allegations and this investigation under the rug.’
The Times reported that Gruden used a gay slur to insult Goodell and said he was ‘clueless’ and ‘anti-football.’ He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured Rams coach Jeff Fisher (right) to draft ‘queers,’ a reference to Michael Sam (left), who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team
Redacted versions of some of Gruden’s emails were also filed in federal court last June as part of Snyder’s efforts to compel Allen to produce discovery in a separate lawsuit filed in India. One of the emails included in the court filing and reviewed by DailyMail.com appears to the one referenced by the Times
Gruden stepped down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured) and others in the NFL
The NFL is not planning to make public any of the hundreds of thousands of emails it obtained as part of an investigation of the Washington Football Team, some of which led to the resignation of Gruden.
‘Based on the material that we have reviewed, we haven’t identified anything that needed to be reported to club or league leadership,’ McCarthy told The Associated Press on Tuesday. ‘We have released no emails during this process.’
As first reported by the Times, Gruden wrote Allen in 2015 to complain that another gay player, Michael Sam, was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. In the email, Gruden claims that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pressured then-Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft ‘queers.’
Fisher, who was fired by the Rams in 2016, has denied facing any pressure to draft Sam, who ultimately did not make the team out of training camp and settled for a practice squad role
Redacted versions of some of Gruden’s emails were also filed in federal court last June as part of Snyder’s efforts to compel Allen to produce discovery in a separate lawsuit filed in India. One of the emails included in the court filing and reviewed by DailyMail.com appears to the one referenced by the Times.
‘I agree,’ wrote an ‘ESPN Personality’ whose name was redacted in the court filing. ‘[Redacted] shouldn’t call [redacted] and tell him to draft queers either.’
Fisher, who was fired by the Rams in 2016, has denied facing any pressure to draft Sam, who ultimately did not make the team out of training camp and settled for a practice squad role.
‘Michael Sam was the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, and we selected him in the 2014 NFL Draft based upon his defensive production and pass rushing skill set on the field,’ Fisher wrote in his statement, referring to Sam’s tenure at Missouri.
‘As a head coach for over 20 years, we drafted or didn’t draft, players based on a variety of qualities,’ Fisher continued. ‘Their sexual orientation would never — and should never — play a part in the decision-making process. I continue to support Michael, and his decision to come out as the first draft-eligible openly gay player in the league. It took courage to serve as a role model for those competitive football players who may also happen to be gay.’
Sam, a star defensive end at Missouri, has not commented on Gruden’s emails publicly.