Gruden out as Raiders coach after emails reveal homophobic, sexist comments
Jon Gruden resigned as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders Monday night after The New York Times reported newly unearthed emails that revealed homophobic and sexist comments he made over several years.
“I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” Gruden said in a statement. “Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
News of Gruden’s resignation came almost immediately after the Times published a report late Monday that detailed emails Gruden sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of what is now known as the Washington Football Team, in which he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “faggot” and a “clueless anti football pussy” while working as an ESPN analyst during “Monday Night Football.”
Gruden also denounced women referees and criticized players protesting during the national anthem.
His departure from the team comes after news outlets reported in recent days that Gruden, while he was working as an analyst for ESPN, made homophobic, sexist and racist comments in emails sent between 2011 and 2018.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden had sent an email in 2011 that used a racist trope to describe a football official.
In the Times report, Gruden also reportedly said Goodell should not have encouraged Jeff Fisher, who was then coaching the Rams, to draft “queers,” which was a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player the team added in 2014.
The Times reported that Gruden also called for the firing of Eric Reid, who knelt during the playing of the national anthem, and used offensive language when referring to some NFL owners, coaches and journalists who report on the league.
Gruden exchanged emails with Allen and other men that contained photos of women who were only wearing bikini bottoms, according to the Times. One of the photos featured in an email reportedly showed two Washington Football Team cheerleaders.
The Times report came after The Wall Street Journal published an article last week detailing an email Gruden sent in 2011, in which he used a racial trope to describe NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” Gruden wrote, according to the Journal.
Gruden was on the sidelines Sunday for the Raiders’ matchup against the Chicago Bears.
Gruden had apologized for the racist remark, telling the Journal “I’m really sorry,” adding “I don’t have a racial bone in my body.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis on Friday said the email reported on by the Journal was “disturbing and not what the Raiders stand for.”
The NFL last week said the comment “denigrating” Smith was “appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values.”
Gruden’s inappropriate comments were not limited to individuals connected to the NFL. According to the Times, he called then-Vice President Biden a “nervous clueless pussy,” and criticized then-President Obama in 2012.
The emails sent to Allen by Gruden were discovered through an investigation spearheaded by the NFL, which was looking into workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team franchise, according to the Times.
Goodell reportedly told NFL executives to examine more than 650,000 emails. He received a summary of the investigation’s findings last week, and reportedly sent some of the emails Gruden previously wrote to the Raiders.
Gruden told ESPN on Friday that the NFL was examining emails he previously sent which used explicit language to refer to Goodell.
He said he was “in a bad frame of mind at the time” because of the lockout between NFL team owners and their players.
— Updated 10:55 p.m.