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OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Former head coach of the Oakland Raiders and now ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst Jon Gruden looks on during pre-game warm ups before an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on November 18, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

A report that Jon Gruden used a racist comment about NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith in an email 10 years ago drew a strong and quick rebuke Friday from the NFL. A Wall Street Journal story noted Gruden, then working for ESPN and now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the email from Gruden is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values.” McCarthy added that the league condemns the statement and regrets any harm “its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”