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Whitlock: Randi Moss uses Jon Gruden to take ESPN’s ‘Tears for Jeers’ campaign to the next level
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Whitlock: Randi Moss uses Jon Gruden to take ESPN’s ‘Tears for Jeers’ campaign to the next level

There is a bright side to Randi Moss' tearful, Jon Gruden-inspired performance on Sunday "NFL Countdown." At least ESPN didn't demand the Hall of Fame receiver wear a dress while pretending to be emotionally devastated over a 10-year-old comment in a private email that had zero to do with Moss.

In the emasculation assault being waged against black men, Randi's crocodile tears are a tiny sign of progress. "Tears for Jeers" has seemingly replaced the long popular tactic of black comedians in drag.

Moss joins his ESPN football colleague and social media tough guy Ryan Clark in pretending to be distraught over inconsequential racial comments. On Sunday, Moss was brought to tears when discussing an email Gruden fired off in 2011 to an NFL executive. In the email, Gruden called NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith dumb and said his enormous lips were enormous. Last year, Clark was reduced to tears when retelling the story of his collegiate son being called the N-word by a random white woman who was driving her car through a fast-food drive-through window.

The lack of crying in baseball is being made up for by ESPN's "Tears for Jeers" campaign that was originally culturally appropriated by Kirk Herbstreit at the behest of race-bait queen Maria Taylor.

But let's not kid ourselves, this important campaign should be credited to the great black messiah, Saint George Floyd, who died for all of white man's sins, including Gruden's salty emails.

"Tears for Jeers" is one of the tangible benefits of living in 2021 AG, After George.

Before George, commonly referred to as BG, men didn't shed fake tears on national television unless they were reading from a script. The crucifixion of George Floyd and his resurrection as a symbol of divinity made victimhood more easily accessible and desirable for the average black male celebrity.

On Sunday, Moss used Gruden's leaked email to ascend through the pearly gates of victimhood. With a performance that delighted his white coworkers, Samantha Ponder, Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck, and Rex Ryan, Moss loosed his emotions like Angela Bassett in "Waiting to Exhale."

"We talk about leadership," Moss whimpered. "We give guys these big contracts because they want to be able to lead 70 men, coaches, equipment staff, and managers to the No. 1 goal, and that's to win a championship.

"And for us to be moving back and not forward. National Football League, this hurts me. The clock is ticking, man. I'm sorry."

Moss, of course, is angry and hurt because a decade ago, while an employee at ESPN, Gruden wrote an email to a Washington executive that said Smith had "lips the size of michelin tires." I think the latter statement is a bit exaggerated. Smith's soup-coolers are more Firestone than Michelin.

I also think this whole incident is grossly exaggerated. Gruden told ESPN that he uses the term "rubber lips" to describe liars. I don't buy that excuse. "Rubber tongue" I would buy. Gruden was talking about the size of Smith's lips. They're enormous. Gruden is a football coach. Language is brutal and raw in a football environment. It's not remotely PC.

Randy Moss has heard football coaches, executives, and players — black and white — say far worse things than DeMaurice Smith has enormous lips. Randy Moss has said far worse things. We all have.

ESPN's conversation about Gruden's email is one of the most dishonest and unsophisticated TV discussions I've ever seen. That's a big statement considering in the past decade we've been fed endless TV segments that pretend police violence is the most lethal and pervasive threat to black men.

Sam Ponder wondered how the Raiders could play a football game with such "heavy hearts" after learning that Gruden's eyes could recognize the enormity of Smith's lips. Bruschi insinuated that he would have trouble playing for Gruden because of his 20/20 vision.

Moss should win an Academy Award for best leading actor, and Ponder and Bruschi should win best supporting actor awards.

How did Rex Ryan keep a straight face during this charade? Can you imagine what Rex Ryan's emails and texts look like? The man has a foot fetish. You think he's not emailing, texting, and talking about the significance of big feet?

Are we, black men, so fragile that Gruden's opinion on Smith's enormous lips can reduce us to tears?

I'm just not that fragile. The opinion of white men just isn't that important to me. Gruden's email doesn't impact my life. I like my big full lips. I'm not ashamed of them. I'm rather proud of them. Granted, my lips aren't as enormous as Smith's, but I've seen bigger ones, particularly on white women. Over the past decade, big lips have become quite popular. Women pay money for injections that enhance the size of their lips. Matter of fact, Angelina Jolie and DeMaurice Smith would make quite the couple.

Whatever. Gruden's email also doesn't tell me anything about what Gruden thinks of black men. Gruden thinks Smith is dumb. Gruden's eyes tell him Smith's lips are enormous. Those are justifiable opinions. In comparison to former NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw, I believe Smith is rather incompetent and stupid. The size of Smith's lips is not up for debate.

As of today, I've yet to hear of one former Gruden assistant coach or player say Gruden treated them in a racist fashion.

Randi Moss has a rubber tongue. Moss and Clark come across like black Karens, busybodies who enthusiastically call the thought police to report misdemeanor verbal crimes as felonious assaults.

You have to wonder how they survived inside NFL locker rooms with razor-thin skin. Or maybe the only way for a black man to survive at ESPN is to abandon all semblance of masculinity?

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