Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned Monday night amid reports that he repeatedly used homophobic and misogynistic language in a series of emails.
In a statement, he stated that he loves the Raiders but does not wish to become a distraction. Thanks to Raider Nation players, coaches, staff and fans. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Gruden’s resignation was announced just over an hour after The New York Times published excerpts from the 58 year-old coach’s emails. These were sent over seven years. The NFL obtained them as part of an unrelated investigation.
The Times reported that, among other things, Gruden used a homophobic slur to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, denigrated one team’s decision to draft a gay player, mocked transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner and suggested that a player who kneeled during the national anthem should be fired.
The Wall Street Journal separately reported Friday that Gruden used a racist trope when describing NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 message.
“Dumboriss” [sic]Smith has lips as big as michellin [sic]According to the newspaper, he said tires.
Gruden apologized for that specific email in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, saying that “I don’t have a racial bone in my body.”
Mark Davis, Raiders owner, stated in a statement that it was “disturbing” to him and not what the Raiders stood for.
Gruden sent emails between 2011-2018, when he worked as an ESPN broadcaster. They were obtained as part of an unrelated investigation into the culture of the Washington Football Team – an investigation which resulted in a fine, but for which no written report has been released.
The New York Times reports that Gruden sent the emails from Gruden’s personal account to Bruce Allen, then a WFT executive. They had been friends in Oakland, and Tampa Bay.
Brian McCarthy, the spokesperson for the NFL, stated to USA TODAY Sports that the emails were discovered in the Washington Football Team investigation. He also confirmed that they had been flagged to USA TODAY Sports. He stated that Gruden had sent the emails to the NFL.
In response to a request for comment Monday, McCarthy referred USA TODAY Sports to his previous statement on the Smith email, which the league described as “appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values.”