Jon Gruden resigned his job as coach of the NFL Las Vegas Raiders this week after the New York Times reported he had made racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks in numerous emails over the past 12 years . The emails were leaked as part of an investigation into workplace misconduct by the Washington football team, an investigation that did not directly implicate Gruden.
Here’s more info on Gruden, the emails, and the reaction:
Jon Gruden’s journey
Gruden, 58, began his head coaching career in 1998 with the then Oakland-based Raiders, and he won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2002 season. He was respected in football circles. the league because of his personality and his knowledge of offensive plans.
The Buccaneers fired Gruden and Bruce Allen, the team’s general manager, after a disappointing 2008 season. Gruden was hired in 2009 as a commentator on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”. Allen became the managing director in Washington in 2010 and later the team chairman.
Mark Davis, who became the owner of the Raiders after his father, Al, died in 2011, persuaded Gruden to return to training in 2018 with a 10-year, $ 100 million contract.
What was said in the emails?
In emails from 2011, while at ESPN, until early 2018, Gruden frequently unleashed racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in conversations with Allen and others. During the 2011 NFL team owners preseason lockout, Gruden, who is white, used a racial trope and insulted the intelligence of DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association. , which is black. These remarks were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
In emails detailed by The Times, Gruden used homophobic language to characterize Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, and in reference to Michael Sam, a gay player drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014. He also criticized Goodell’s efforts to reduce concussions, denounced the emergence of women as referees and said that Eric Reid, one of the first players to join former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, should be fired.
Gruden has also used offensive language to describe some NFL owners, coaches and reporters who cover the league. And he, Allen and other men exchanged photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including a photo of two team Washington cheerleaders.
How were the emails discovered?
The correspondence – more than 650,000 emails – was revealed in an investigation into the Washington football team, which sacked Allen in 2019. The NFL fined the club $ 10 million this summer. after concluding a year-long investigation that found the team had fostered a culture of sexual harassment, intimidation and intimidation. Reports from the Washington Post and The Times detailed the club’s wrongdoing, including sexual harassment of cheerleaders.
Goodell has asked league officials to check emails over the past several months, including those in which Reasons were making offensive remarks. Goodell received a summary of the findings this month and the league sent the Raiders some of the emails Gruden wrote.
How did the Raiders react?
On Oct. 8, after the Journal reported Gruden’s comments about Smith, Davis, the owner of the Raiders, issued a statement calling the remarks “disturbing.” Gruden apologized but was allowed to coach the Raiders game two days later against the Chicago Bears. Before the article was published, Gruden organized a team meeting to deal with the situation in a preventive manner.
Gruden resigned hours after the Times report Monday which further detailed his emails. “I love the Raiders and I don’t want to be a distraction,” he said in a statement, adding: “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
The Raiders have appointed Rich Bisaccia, their special teams coach, as their interim head coach. Bisaccia, 61, was also the special teams coach under Gruden during the Buccaneers’ championship season in 2002.
Davis issued a brief statement Monday by accepting Gruden’s resignation. He told ESPN on Wednesday: “I have no comment. Ask the NFL, they have all the answers.” Beyond that, he has not publicly discussed the resignation.
Carl Nassib, the Raiders defensive end who in June became the first active NFL player to declare himself gay, requested a personal day on Wednesday and did not attend the first practice after Gruden left.
What has been the reaction elsewhere and what’s next?
Gruden is unlikely to coach an NFL team again or be associated with the league in any capacity.
The Buccaneers removed Gruden from their ring of honor at Raymond James Stadium and he lost his sponsorship deal with shoe and apparel company Skechers. EA Sports has announced that it will be removing Gruden from its “Madden NFL 22” video game. The NFLPA and the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization dedicated to improving diversity in the NFL, also condemned Gruden’s comments.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys who represent 40 former Washington club employees, have called on the league to release more evidence related to Dan Snyder, the team’s owner. Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, told USA Today the union will request disclosure of all emails, which the league said it has no plans to do.