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Marquette King Says Raiders, Jon Gruden Cut Him Without Meeting: 'Think It Was Hate'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 15, 2022

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Former NFL punter Marquette King, who suited up for the then-Oakland Raiders from 2012 to 2017, says the team released him in 2018 before he even met newly hired head coach Jon Gruden.

King didn't mince words on the podcast Silver & Black Today (h/t Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk) and said he believed "hate" led to his release.

Silver & Black Today @SNBToday

EXCLUSIVE: Former <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Raiders?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Raiders</a> punter <a href="https://twitter.com/MarquetteKing?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MarquetteKing</a> joined <a href="https://twitter.com/LVGully?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LVGully</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/MoeMoton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MoeMoton</a> w/story on how he was cut from the Silver &amp; Black &amp; asks why he can't get another chance in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a>.<br><br>Subscribe to our <a href="https://twitter.com/AudacySports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AudacySports</a> original podcast to hear full interview: <a href="https://t.co/xtoU4nl8r0">https://t.co/xtoU4nl8r0</a> <a href="https://t.co/MiOq2vRQjY">pic.twitter.com/MiOq2vRQjY</a>

He got the word from then-Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie:

"As soon as I showed up, Reggie was telling me that Gruden doesn't want me there. ... 'We're about to let you go, we're gonna put you on the wire, and it's gonna hit the news soon.' ...

"I never met the guy [Gruden] before. I never talked to him. ... I never got a chance to meet any of them. I never got a chance to talk to any of them. It was just the weirdest thing ever. It actually kind of hurt. It felt like a loss."

He added:

"Raiders felt like home. That was home. Staying in the Bay was home. Wearing those colors, I couldn't see myself wearing any other colors. ... I honestly should've took a year off. I was just so scarred from that, man. Feeling like somebody just has a motive behind just letting you go, I honestly don't understand. I think it was hate. That's what I feel like. That's the only way you can be like that towards somebody if you never met them. I don't know, some people just got hate in their heart."

Gruden signed a 10-year contract to become the Raiders' head coach in 2018. Within three months, King was released.

McKenzie was fired before the end of the 2018 season, and Gruden and new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock ran the personnel show for three years until the coach resigned after the discovery of racist, sexist and anti-gay emails last October.

King, who hasn't been in the NFL since playing the 2018 season with the Denver Broncos, implied last month that he believed discrimination existed in the NFL against Black kickers and punters:

Marquette King @MarquetteKing

I tried but it’s a lot of brothers still not getting fair opportunity as well in the League as punters n kickers. Some of the ones that got a shot I’n preseason would hit me but me but what could I say? I was cut with a successful resume 😬🤷🏾‍♂️ <a href="https://t.co/1Cj2gs0vWD">https://t.co/1Cj2gs0vWD</a>

Marquette King @MarquetteKing

It’s only been 6 African American punters 2 play in the NFL since 1920 n earn at least 1 credited season. Over the last 3 seasons I havent been able to get a job but still have a top 5 punting average. Blaming me not having a job because of antics n attitude is surface thinking. <a href="https://t.co/R5qm0vo7On">pic.twitter.com/R5qm0vo7On</a>

King was one of the league's most powerful punters during his NFL tenure.

His 48.9 yards per punt topped the NFL in 2013. King also earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2016 and finished third in net yardage in 2017.

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