Jon Gruden has announced his resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after a trove of old emails revealed he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language in discussing the league, its players and officials.
Let’s see what we can do right now.
What is the secret to this rapid turnaround?
Gruden’s behavior recently came under scrutiny when the Wall Street Journal uncovered an email he sent in 2011 in which he used a racist trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. The email was sent to Bruce Allen, former NFL general manger, as part of an investigation by the league into Washington Football Team. It was uncovered this summer.
“I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years,” Gruden later told the Journal.
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Are one or more emails a firing offense
It is not the case in all cases. The NFL did however find additional emails in a separate investigation. This contained further damning information according to a New York Times report.
Gruden sent out additional emails, covering nearly seven years and ending in 2018, in which he described Roger Goodell as homophobic. Gruden also attacked the NFL’s handling of protests by players during the national anthem.
Is Michael Sam responding?
Gruden employed a homophobic word in an email to refer to the decision of then-St. Louis Rams to pick Michael Sam (an openly gay defensive end) in 2014 draft.
Sam did not respond directly but used the praying hands emoji to quote-tweet a user on Twitter who thanked him for his bravery on National Coming Out Day.
Was Gruden adamant about his resignation?
Gruden Raiders Monday Night Statement:I love Raiders, and don’t want to distract them. Thanks to Raider Nation players, coaches, staff and fans. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Was the Raiders shocked by the news?
After the Wall Street Journal report on Gruden’s comments about Smith came out on October 8, Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement that he found it “disturbing” and “not what the Raiders stand for.”
Gruden wasn’t immediately disciplined, and he was able to coach the Raiders during Sunday’s loss of 20-9 to the Chicago Bears.
The Raiders did not issue any comment after news broke Monday night that Gruden had decided to resign.
Gruden took the Raiders job.
Gruden, who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title after the 2002 season, returned to coaching in 2018 after 10 years as an analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts.
A 10-year $100-million contract was signed to bring him back to the Raiders. He previously managed the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 when they were based in Oakland. With a record 22-31, he was just three games into his fourth season. At the moment, they are tied at second in the AFC West with 3-2.
Overall, Gruden has a career record of 117-112 (.511) over 15 seasons.
What will you be doing now to coach the Raiders?
Rich Bisaccia was appointed interim Raiders coach. Bisaccia is also assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. Bisaccia was 61 years old and had previously worked 11 years under Gruden in NFL. Bisaccia also led special teams for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-08. He was the assistant head coach for the Raiders, Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers (2012) as well as the Dallas Cowboys (2013-17).
Bisaccia was nominated over Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator), Tom Cable (offensive line coach) and Rod Marinelli (defensive line coach). All three have prior head coaching experience. Bisaccia is not a former head coach.
Contributing: Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz