Jon Gruden, head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, is resigning following news reports that he engaged in homophobic, misogynistic and racist email messaging.
What Happened: Tom Pelissero of NFL Network broke the news of Gruden’s resignation, which came after a New York Times report detailing the crass nature of Gruden’s email exchanges with former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen and others.
The Times reviewed 650,000 emails that Gruden sent between 2011 and 2018 when he worked as “Monday Night Football” analyst for ESPN, the sports cable network owned by The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS).
The emails referred to NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell as a “fa****t” and a “clueless anti football p****y. Gruden also complained about Gooden applying pressure on then-Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft “queers” – Michael Sam, a Rams defensive end, was the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL in 2014.
Gruden’s emails also included harsh complaints of having women as NFL referees and the controversial practice of some NFL players staging protests against racism during the playing of the National Anthem. One of Gruden’s emails about DeMaurice Smith, an African American who is the executive director of the National Football League Players Association, referred to his appearance in crude language racist language.
Why It Happened: ESPN reported that Raiders owner Mark Davis earlier in the day met with Gruden, who later submitted his resignation. Davis issued a statement declaring that he found Gruden’s comments “disturbing” and insisted they were “not what the Raiders stand for.”
Gruden’s emails surfaced as part of an unrelated investigation into the Washington Football Team, USA Today reported. That investigation resulted in a fine, but no written report has been released on that probe.
Photo: Jon Gruden in an LA Raider publicity photo.
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