Jon Gruden returned to coach the Raiders in 2018 on a 10-year, $100m deal; 58-year-old resigns after numerous emails including racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms revealed; NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell among those abused by Gruden
Last Updated: 12/10/21 7:37am
Jon Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the wake of further allegations of offensive emails.
The New York Times reported on Monday the existence of numerous emails that included homophobic or misogynistic terms.
That news followed a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal that Gruden used racist language in a 2011 email when describing the appearance of DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association.
Gruden apologised but said he did not remember writing the email about Smith.
In a statement on Monday night, Gruden said: “I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction.
“Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Smith tweeted on Monday: “The email from Jon Gruden – and some of the reaction to it – confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over.
“This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less.”
🧵 The email from Jon Gruden – and some of the reaction to it – confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over. This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less.
— DeMaurice Smith (@demauricesmith) October 11, 2021
Gruden reportedly told team owner Mark Davis of his decision to step down in a face-to-face meeting. Davis wrote in a statement merely that he accepted Gruden’s resignation.
Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders’ assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, is replacing Gruden as head coach on an interim basis, the team announced.
The New York Times reported that the NFL, in the midst of an unrelated investigation, flagged many emails written by Gruden.
He allegedly used disparaging terms while expressing opposition to women serving as NFL referees, the league drafting or including gay players and the player protests while the national anthem is played pre-game.
Gruden also allegedly used foul terms to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, including an anti-gay slur, and used a different anti-gay slur while writing about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round in 2014 but never played a regular-season game in the league.
The offending emails were written during a stretch when Gruden was working for ESPN as an NFL commentator.
ESPN wrote in a statement on Monday night: “The comments are clearly repugnant under any circumstance.”
The Raiders currently employ the only active openly gay NFL player, defensive end Carl Nassib, who has 1.5 sacks in five games this year.
Gruden, 58, signed a 10-year, $100m (£73.5m) deal to return to coaching with the Raiders in 2018.
The Raiders are off to a 3-2 start, leaving Gruden 22-31 in his second stint as the team’s head coach.
He was 38-26 in the regular season while coaching the then-Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001, and he posted a 57-55 regular-season mark with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-08, leading them to a Super Bowl championship after the 2002 season.