Story at a glance:

  • Then-general manager Bruce Allen reportedly shared topless cheerleader photos with Jon Gruden.
  • Cheerleaders want a full investigation and accountability.
  • Gruden and Allen have a longstanding relationship since Gruden’s ESPN tenure.

Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s emails have opened old wounds, now putting focus on an ill-fated scandal involving a former general manager and topless cheerleaders.


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Some cheerleaders are now calling on the NFL to release its full report into workplace culture after those pictures were distributed.

It was known that former executive Dennis Greene had resigned in 2018 after selling access to a topless Washington Football Team cheerleader photoshoot to wealthy patrons as part of a suite package. 

First reported by The New York Times in 2018, and further covered by The Washington Post in 2020, the photoshoot was intended to be for “a contingent of sponsors and FedEx suite holders,” all of whom were men. 

It was also reported that the cheerleaders were instructed to act as “personal escorts” for the male sponsors during an evening event.

Gruden was busted in a 2011 email for comparing NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith’s lip to a car tire while he was a commentator at ESPN. The email was shared to Allen, according to Fox News.

Gruden and Allen have a longstanding relationship since Gruden’s ESPN tenure; a decade ago, Allen was Washington Football Team’s (once called the Redskins) general manager and had hired Gruden’s brother, Jay Gruden, to coach the team, The Daily Beast reported.

As Changing America previously reported, the recent batch of emails shows that Gruden made additional offensive statements, including allegations the NFL pressured a team into drafting defensive end Michael Sam, the first drafted openly gay player, in the seventh round of the NFL draft in 2014 — something the team has denied. 

Gruden’s resignation comes on Monday after a string of bombshell reports from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal uncovered a series of racist, homophobic and misogynistic messages he sent over a seven-year period prior to his tenure with the Las Vegas organization.

The discussion, however, isn’t over, as cheerleaders on both Raiders and WFT want the NFL to ensure mistreatment or harassment will be handled.

In the past, about 100 Raider cheerleaders had to sue its team for failing to pay its cheerleaders minimum wage.


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Published on Oct 13, 2021