“We’re always looking for fan favorites to represent our men’s collections and Jon Gruden, with his colorful personality, fits the bill. We’re confident his signature leadership will fit seamlessly into our roster of sports celebrities and help convey the story of how our athletic and casual footwear and apparel delivers on style and comfort for men everywhere.”
-Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers
“Upon learning of these developments, we immediately terminated Mr. Gruden’s endorsement contract and our affiliation with him. Skechers believes in equality, fostering tolerance and understanding for all people. It is at the core of who we are as a global lifestyle brand and why we have a zero tolerance policy for such behavior within our business including those who we formally work with. We believe taking a stand against racist or derogatory comments and for inclusion of all is imperative.”
-Jennifer Clay, vice president of Skechers corporate communications and marketing (in an email to USA Today)
Life. Comes. At. You. Fast.
In the wake of, well, you already know, your mother’s favorite footwear company immediately cut ties with Jon Gruden, becoming the first brand to do so.
The drop comes in the wake of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who Gruden served as head coach from 2002-2008 and holds the career wins record, removing Gruden from the Bucs Ring of Honor.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team said in a statement.
“While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
The Gruden emails also included Hooters co-founder Ed Droste. Gruden has been a longtime ambassador of Hooters. The company has yet to speak on the Gruden catastrophe at the time of this writing.