Chargers’ Brandon Staley on Jon Gruden email scandal: Kindness matters in coaching

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The reverberations from Jon Gruden’s resignation as Raiders coach continue around the NFL.

Gruden stepped down after racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails written to former Washington president Bruce Allen came to light in a New York Times story.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley was asked Wednesday about those emails and he responded with what it means to lead a team.

Here is his full answer:

“This is what I think about it: perspective and trust in this world are really, really difficult to achieve. I think about all the people that were affected by those emails — whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re a person, you know, a gender, your sexual orientation. The people that were affected by those emails, that’s who I’m thinking about because it’s a sacred mantle for someone to call you coach or someone to call you a leader.

“Trust is really, really hard to achieve in this world. It’s really, really challenging to achieve. And especially with people with those groups that I just mentioned. People are really guarded and skeptical of people because of emails like that.

“Kindness and lifting people up and respecting people you don’t know, I just think that’s such a big part of our thing here is listening to people and learning from people. Because I think what you’ll discover is we have so much more in common than not.

“For someone like me, it’s just incumbent upon you to set the example every single day so that people that were talked about in those emails that they don’t need to feel that way, they shouldn’t feel that way.

“Hopefully, all of us can learn from this, that it’s about bringing people together for me, so that people can become the people that they dream about. For me, leading this football team and being someone, hopefully, we can be a light for those people in those emails that not everybody’s like that, that there’s far more people that will love you than the opposite.

“Hopefully, this will be a chance for everybody to come together instead of go apart.”

Kyrie Irving opens up

The Nets are not allowing guard Kyrie Irving to practice or play with the team until he complies with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and he took to Instagram Live to talk about his future in the NBA.

Irving said he had been told he wouldn’t have to get the vaccine.

“This wasn’t an issue before the season started,” Irving said. “This wasn’t something that I foresaw coming where I prepared for it and I had a chance to strategize on what was going to be best for me my family. I went into the season just thinking I was going to be able to play ball.”

Irving said he plans to continue to play basketball.

“No, I’m not retiring,” Irving said, per Sports Illustrated. “No, I’m not going to leave this game like that. You think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job?

Barkley + Gretzky = Gold

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley joined the “NHL on TNT” show on Wednesday where he had some hilarious interactions with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.

TNT showed a video of a rare Gretzky fight in a game, and, well, The Great One didn’t win.

“Wait,” Barkley said incredulously. “You lost to a guy with a perm?”

Gretzky got his revenge by torching Barkley in a shootout.

U.S. wins in World Cup qualifying

The United States men’s national team rallied from a goal down and beat Costa Rica 2-1 in a World Cup qualifying match in Columbus, Ohio.

This was the winning goal, which was ruled an own goal instead of being credited to Tim Weah:

Team USA is second place in the CONCACAF standings with 11 points, three behind Mexico.

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