Yesterday we told you about the disturbing news involving NFL coach Jon Gruden and the racist emails he sent a decade ago. And now, following the discovery of even more racist, sexist, and homophobic messages, the pro football veteran has been forced to resign from his position as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
CNN’s Steve Almasy reported that Gruden resigned from the Raiders team on Monday, Oct. 11, “after reports emerged of him using homophobic, racist and misogynistic language in emails while he worked as an ESPN analyst.”
“I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” Gruden said in a statement announcing his resignation. “Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
According to Almasy, “critics had called for Gruden, who has coached the Raiders since the beginning of the 2018 season, to be fired since The Wall Street Journal reported that he used racially insensitive language to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email.”
After news of that initial email broke over the weekend, The New York Times conducted its own review of emails Gruden had sent over the course of his career and found additional messages openly denouncing women being employed by the NFL and mocking an openly gay player. According to the Times, Gruden also repeatedly showed his intolerance and dislike for individuals protesting the national anthem being played before games.
“A league source confirmed the accuracy of the Times’ story to CNN,” Almasy said. “The emails were uncovered by the league and presented to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week, the source said. The league sent them to the Raiders and has actively been waiting for the team to review them with Gruden as it stated Friday night.”
On Friday, ahead of Gruden’s resignation, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy spoke to the press, saying, “the email from Jon Gruden denigrating DeMaurice Smith is appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values. We condemn the statement and regret any harm that its publication may inflict on Mr. Smith or anyone else.”
The Times’ investigation of Gruden’s emails revealed a message where he called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “p*ssy” and a “f*ggot.” In another message, he described Michael Sam — one of the first out football players in NFL history — as “queer” and questioned why his team, the St. Louis Rams, had drafted him.
In response to the initial WSJ article, Gruden said, “all I can say is that I’m not a racist. I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. I apologize for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all.”