Jon Gruden has resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails he sent before being hired in 2018 contained racist, homophobic & misogynistic comments.
He stepped down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic & homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell & others in the NFL.
It was a rapid downfall for Gruden, who is in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100 million contract he signed with the Raiders in 2018. It started on Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email to former Washington executive Bruce Allen.
The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player & the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.
Gruden apologized for his “insensitive remarks” about Smith, saying they were made out of frustration over the 2011 lockout. But the latest emails sent from between 2011-18 when Gruden was an analyst for ESPN show his use of derogatory language went well beyond that.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said last week that the email about Smith was “disturbing & not what the Raiders stand for” & said the team was reviewing the additional emails. Davis issued a statement Monday saying only that he accepted Gruden’s resignation.
The Times reported that Gruden used a gay slur to insult Goodell & said he was “clueless” & “anti-football.” He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
The paper also said Gruden criticized Goodell and the NFL league for trying to reduce concussions, and said that Eric Reid, a player who had demonstrated during the playing of the national anthem, should be fired.
The newspaper said Gruden also mocked an article in 2017 about players calling on Goodell to support their efforts promoting racial equality & criminal justice reform.
“He needs to hide in his concussion protocol tent,” Gruden wrote.
Gruden & Allen have a long relationship, having worked together in Oakland & Tampa Bay. The emails between the two & other men included photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including one photo of two Washington team cheerleaders.
Gruden also criticized President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign in 2012, & then-vice president Joe Biden.
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