Jon Gruden emails labelled ‘disturbing’, ‘ignorant’ and ‘a distraction’ after Las Vegas Raiders head coach resigns

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Jon Gruden, who returned to coach the Las Vegas Raiders in 2018 on a 10-year, $100m deal, resigns after allegedly sending numerous offensive emails which included racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms

Last Updated: 12/10/21 5:32pm


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ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Booger McFarland discuss Jon Gruden’s decision to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the wake of further allegations of offensive emails.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Booger McFarland discuss Jon Gruden’s decision to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the wake of further allegations of offensive emails.

Jon Gruden has been labelled “ignorant” following the emergence of numerous offensive emails allegedly sent by the former Las Vegas Raiders head coach that resulted in his resignation on Monday.

The New York Times had reported earlier that day on the existence of emails that included homophobic or misogynistic terms. That followed a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal that said Gruden had used racist language in a 2011 email when describing the appearance of DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association.

Gruden apologised and said he did not remember writing the email about Smith but, after coaching his team in a 20-9 defeat at home to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Gruden resigned on the Monday evening as the detail of more emails were released.

Reacting to the news on Good Morning Football, presenter Peter Schrager said: “The New York Times report is disturbing.

“The thing that is wild to me is, the Wall Street Journal report came out on Friday, the team was given a tip on Thursday that it was coming out and yet this guy coached over the weekend!

Jon Gruden coach his Las Vegas Raiders team to a 20-9 defeat to the Chicago Bears on Sunday before resigning on the Monday

Jon Gruden coach his Las Vegas Raiders team to a 20-9 defeat to the Chicago Bears on Sunday before resigning on the Monday

“This reveals an invincibility that a lot of these men have had for many decades in the NFL, in corporate America and many other places.

“I would like to think it is of a by-gone era, but it’s not. It still exists, that invincibility, that feeling of ‘I can’t be touched and it is okay to talk this way’.”

The New York Times reported that the NFL, in the midst of an unrelated investigation, had 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 was 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.

GMFB presenter Kyle Brandt added: “Gruden is a football caricature, he is what a football coach is ‘supposed’ to look like – old school, tough – but this story turns the fun caricature into a bad stereotype.

“Ignorant, stone-age ideology and terrible views on the world.

“What is really interesting is that when Gruden was reintroduced as Raiders coach in January 2018, he was asked about social media and how players should express their views publicly in this day and age.

“Gruden, an actual quote, said: “You’ve got to be careful what you post because sometimes it backfires against you. You’re responsible for your actions and we’ll talk about that at length with our team.” And then here we are today.

“If he did talk about it to the team, then he is a hypocrite. The whole Raiders idea of a ‘commitment to excellence’ comes from the top down, but reading those emails he showed a ‘commitment to ignorance’. And that’s why he’s gone.”

The offending emails were written during a stretch when Gruden was working for ESPN as an NFL commentator, with the broadcaster issuing a statement on Monday night which labelled the comments as “clearly repugnant under any circumstance”.

Gruden signed a 10-year, $100m deal to return to coaching with the Raiders in 2018. The team are off to a 3-2 start this season, leaving his record at 22-31 from his second stint as the team’s head coach.

Former NFL defensive back DeAngelo Hall, appearing on GMFB, said he believes it will be tough for the Raiders to bounce back from this distraction.

“In the NFL, or with any sport, it’s a safe place in that locker room,” he said. “No one looks at the colour of your skin, it’s just ‘I’ve got your back, you’ve got mine’. It’s that camaraderie.

“So to see this from the guy that is leading the organisation is very disturbing, without a doubt, and how do these players now respond? That’s a big question. Is this a lost season now for the Raiders?

“Even though Gruden has resigned now, it’s still a distraction. It won’t be easy for this team to turn the chapter. It’s going to be tough for a lot of these players to come back from this.”

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