I am all for mercy and redemption. I absolutely believe in forgiveness and restoration. But I cannot understand why Jon Gruden, one of the more iconic coaches in the NFL, was fired for comments he made in private emails 10 years ago while author and lawyer Jeffrey Toobin is back on CNN after his fairly recent Zoom fiasco. By what standard?
I’m not for a moment excusing, let alone condoning, Gruden’s emails if, in fact, they are bad as reported. But even if they were that bad, they were sent out 10 years ago. Plus, they were private statements rather than public statements. And, most importantly, to my knowledge, none of those who worked closely with him over the years accused him of being racist or misogynistic.
At the worst, with his full apology and pledge to step higher, he should have been able to continue in his job, perhaps incurring a fine as a token punishment.
Instead, he was cancelled and could end up being banned from working for the NFL for life.
For his part, he is suing the league, accusing them of leaking his emails while 650,000 emails from others have not been made public. We shall see what all this reveals.
But what happened to Gruden is increasingly common these days, to the point that sins from one’s youth can be brought up decades later to cause loss of reputation and career. How utterly destructive and unfair, especially for those who have long since left those sins or behaviors behind.
I spent many months doing research for my next book, due out March 2022 and titled The Silencing of the Lambs: The Ominous Rise of Cancel Culture and How We Can Overcome It.
Among a host of examples cited was that of comedian Sarah Silverman, an unlikely critic of cancel culture. She is a liberal Jewish comedian, known in some Christian circles for her crass jokes about Jesus.
But she, too, has become alarmed at the unforgiving nature of cancel culture, which not only judges you for thought crimes or word crimes you commit today but also for words you spoke or things you did many years ago. She said, “Without a path to redemption, when you take someone, you found a tweet they wrote seven years ago or a thing that they said, and you expose it and you say, this person should be no more, banish them forever ….”
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Source: Michael Brown