'Saturday Night Live' tackles NFL, Jon Gruden email scandal with cold open

·Writer
·2 min read

The NFL’s email scandal reached 30 Rock on Saturday night.

“Saturday Night Live” opened its third show of the season this weekend by tackling the NFL’s email scandal with Jon Gruden — who resigned on Monday after The New York Times detailed several racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails from Gruden during his time at ESPN.

The segment seemed to hit everything one could possibly hope for when it comes to an NFL. Chris Redd even came on at the end as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“So much stuff coming out about the NFL is maybe racist, kinda,” Redd said as Kaepernick. “Huh. I wonder if anyone tried to warn people about this before ... It's almost like that's the reason they banned me from the league.”

Weekend Update co-anchor Collin Jost got things started early while playing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, after being introduced by an “anonymous” PR representative.

“I assure you all 32 teams in our league understand that diversity is our strength,” Jost said as Goodell. “And I know our Black coaches would agree. Both of them.”

He brought out Gruden, played by James Austin Johnson.

“I hope you won’t judge me on one email I sent 10 years ago,” Johnson said as Goodell. “Or the 20 emails I sent last Tuesday.”

The sketch also featured appearances from a team equipment manager, Pete Davidson as the team’s new coach — who quickly had to resign himself — Alex Moffat as team owner Mark Davis, a Washington Football Team cheerleader and more.

The real Gruden, who took over with the Raiders in 2018 on a record 10-year deal, resigned Monday after emails surfaced from his time working at ESPN as a “Monday Night Football” analyst. His emails, send to former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen, among others, were discovered as part of an NFL investigation into workplace misconduct with the organization.

Gruden stepped down less than an hour after the Times report, which came just days after a different report exposed racist language he used in reference to NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith.

The NFL’s emails problem continued throughout the week, as others continued to come out regarding the league’s top lawyer, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Allen, and more.

Though a full slate of games on Sunday certainly took attention away from the scandal, at least for the moment, “Saturday Night Live” made sure to get its shots in before the first games kicked off.

SNL star Collin Jost as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Jon Gruden and the NFL's email scandal reached 30 Rock on Saturday night. Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images)
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