Core Values: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stefan Collins

October certainly wasn’t a good month for former Pro Football Head Coach Jon Gruden. After leading the Las Vegas Raiders to a promising 3-0 start to the season in September, Gruden’s future in the National Football League went to hell in a hand basket. The Raiders lost their next two games to the Los Angeles Chargers and the Chicago Bears. Unfortunately, the results of those games were overshadowed by the contents of emails that Gruden had sent dating back to 2011 containing offensive terms and contents.

The terms used in the emails led to Gruden resigning as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on October 11th, 2021. A New York Times article titled, “Raiders Coach Resigns After Homophobic and Misogynistic Emails” stated:

“Jon Gruden stepped down Monday as the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders football team hours after The New York Times detailed emails in which he had made homophobic and misogynistic remarks. In the emails, Gruden called the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti football pussy… Gruden also said that Goodell should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the coach of the Rams, to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player chosen by the team in 2014. …. Gruden also criticized President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign in 2012, as well as then-Vice President Joe Biden, whom Gruden called a “nervous clueless pussy.” He used similar words to describe Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the N.F.L. Players Association.”

The exposure of Gruden’s emails led to his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers removing his name from the Franchise’s “Ring of honor.” An article mentioned the official statement from the Buccaneers:

“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 statement read. “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.”

I could easily write about how what Jon Gruden did was wrong and he ought to be ashamed of himself, especially since he had Carl Nassib, an openly gay player on his team (I’ll take my Nobel Prize in the mail). But let’s face it, there are already a million of those articles out there. Furthermore, Gruden was not fired from his job with the Raiders; he resigned at his own accord. So, there is no dispute about whether his dismissal was justified.

Instead, I’m going to applaud the Buccaneers for suddenly wanting to become a super progressive organization and make three further suggestions for how the team can further uphold its “Core Values.”

#1 Do not do business with Alex Guerrero.

If you’ve been reading my content for a while now, you will know what I think of Tom Brady. I think he is by far the luckiest and most overrated athlete in the history of professional sports, and he receives more undeserved praise than any player ever. What I bet you don’t know is that Brady is in business with a man named Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is Brady’s personal trainer, co-founder of the TB12 business and is a man that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refers to as “A disgraced Guru”.  A 2017 article by Dave Hannigan of The Irish times stated:

“In 2004, back when he was styling himself ‘Dr Alejandro Guerrero’ on infomercials, he was flogging Supreme Greens, a nutritional supplement he announced had cured 192 people of cancer and prevented arthritis, MS, Parkinson’s and even Aids. When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated it discovered none of the claims had any basis in scientific fact and, for good measure, Guerrero had only a masters in ‘Chinese medicine’ from a defunct California school. He was banned for life from promoting supplements or calling himself a doctor.”

Alex Guerrero marketed sugar pills as cures for terrible illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV.Guerrero falsely claimed to be a doctor in order to lure his targets into a false sense of hope in order to rip off vulnerable, terminally ill cancer patients, and con them out of whatever little money they had left. Guerrero isn’t just a fraud; he is evil. I would assume that lying, fraud, and deceit go against the Buccaneers “core values” that were so important when declaring the removal of Gruden’s name from the ring of honor.

#2 Release Tom Brady

As if that wasn’t bad enough. The TB12 method that Guerrero and Brady promote is harmful junk science which the pair sell to the masses. In Brady’s best-selling book “The TB12 method” Brady tells his readers to drink at least half of their body weight in water.

“Sometimes I think I’m the most hydrated person in the world. At 225 pounds, that means I should be drinking 112 ounces a day, minimum,” If you don’t drink enough, he claims, you decrease the oxygen in your bloodstream, build up toxins in your cells and create an “unhealthy inner environment… Brady also contends that “the more hydrated I am, the less likely I am to get sunburned.” Of course, you also need to purchase TB12 electrolytes, amongst other expensive items, which have no evidence of having any athletic benefit other than Brady’s testimonies according to Aschwanden.

Obviously, Brady’s claims are disputed by scientists. Drinking half of your bodyweight in water is extremely harmful and, in some cases, fatal. the American Society of Nephrology states, drinking excessive amounts of water when you are not thirsty can lead to health conditions such as hyponatremia, or “water intoxication.” Conditions which the article states are “life threatening.” Of course, “Core Values” such as honesty and protecting the health of the public are irrelevant in this instance.

Another product that was sold by Guerrero and Brady was “Neurosafe.” Dave Hannigan of The Irish Times stated “Guerrero invented and marketed it as “a seatbelt for the brain” because it contained minerals that allegedly promoted speedy recovery from concussion. A fantastic idea in a league with a brain injury problem except the FTC quickly forced them to withdraw it from sale because the ingredients did no such thing. Undeterred by that embarrassing setback (Neurosafe was “powered by TB12!”)”

Any respected scientific source would dismiss the claims made by Brady and Guerrero, the “snake oil salesman,” about their TB12 products. It must make you wonder, what exactly Guerrero is giving Brady to allow him to throw the ball harder and faster at age 45 than ever done before? Possibly something that would go against the Buccaneers “core values?”

I suggest the Buccaneers release Brady on the grounds of making fraudulent and harmful claims whilst representing the organization. But they won’t do that because the team’s “core values” are only important when it won’t affect the Buccaneers on field success.

#3 Release Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown is another one of Brady’s shady friends that he brought with him to Tampa Bay. Antonio Brown is a fantastic wide receiver. But if you have followed the news reports on him since 2019, you’ll probably agree that he is a terrible human being. Brown used racial slur when referring to his former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Raiders general manager, Mike Mayock, calling them both “Crackers.” Which surely goes against the Bucs’ “Core values.”

If not, then perhaps the fact that he was accused of raping and sexually assaulting his former trainer, Brittany Taylor, does. A New York Times article mentioned that the case was settled out of court.

“[However,] Brown, 32, was also accused of sexual misconduct by another woman in a Sports Illustrated report… The accusations surfaced soon after Brown joined the New England Patriots… He sat out the remainder of the 2019 season, and during that hiatus was charged with burglary and battery in a January 2020 dispute with a moving company employee. Brown pleaded no contest in that case and received two years’ probation.”

Despite these stories being well covered by the mainstream media, the Buccaneers still had no problem signing Brown. The bottom line is, when it comes to winning games and making sure Brady is happy, “Core values” can go out of the window.