“Saturday Night Live” put its satirical mirror up to the NFL as the pro football league tries to recover from a scandal, in which the former coach of the Las Vegas Raiders was discovered to have sent racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails in recent years.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, played by Colin Jost, held a news conference with team officials and others.

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

Goodell allowed fired Raiders coach Jon Gruden to address the media because he begged, he said. “And you know how much I hate seeing someone kneel,” Goodell said.

Gruden, played by James Austin Johnson, said he didn’t mean to use hateful language in the emails, leaked to the New York Times. “This sounds like a stretch, but have you ever gotten burned by autocorrect?” he said.

Pete Davidson was introduced as a replacement coach, but he was quickly ousted.

“They just found my emails too, and they are so much worse than the old coach’s,” he said. “I started an email chain called, ‘Hey, let’s rank the races.'”

“Thank you,” Davidson’s character said, “and I look forward to joining ESPN in three months.”

A Washington Football Team cheerleader (Heidi Gardner) decried the Gruden emails that made their way to her organization, saying they “do not reflect the values of our team — a team which until a year ago was called the Redskins.”

Former player Colin Kaepernick (Chris Redd), who hasn’t found work in the league after taking a knee on-field during the national anthem to protest police killings of Black Americans, said he tried to tell the world about the sport’s racism.

“So much stuff coming out about the NFL,” he said. “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.”

News segment “Weekend Update” continued to hammer the NFL. Co-host Michael Che said Kaepernick was working out and keeping in game shape should any team want to hire him.

“But the Giants are still going to stick with their current quarterback, a scarecrow on a Roomba,” he said.

Co-host Colin Jost had earlier shifted gears away from the NFL to criticize Congress for so far failing to adopt key climate legislation.

“I’m not going to let some bad climate news ruin this beautiful, 80-degree October day,” he said from his desk in New York City.

Image: Dennis RomeroDennis Romero

Dennis Romero writes for NBC News and is based in Los Angeles.


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