Disgraced Jon Gruden Resigns as Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach After Homophobic, Racist and Misogynistic Emails Surface

The New York Times detailed Gruden's offensive emails, which were written over the course of several years.

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By Amanda Breen

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has resigned, the Raiders announced Monday. Gruden's resignation follows a New York Times report that detailed the coach's offensive emails, which were sent over the course of several years during his time as an analyst at ESPN.

Team owner Mark Davis said he has accepted Gruden's resignation in a statement on Twitter.

League officials were conducting a workplace misconduct investigation, of which Gruden was not the focus, when the emails were discovered.

Critics had called for Gruden to be fired since The Wall Street Journal reported that he used a racist trope common in anti-Black imagery to describe executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith.

On Friday, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said, "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."

In the emails reviewed on Monday by The Times, Gruden also tears into women being employed as on-field officials, a team drafting an openly gay player, and the tolerance for national anthem protestors.

Related: First Openly Gay Active NFL Player Grosses Top-Selling NFL Jersey

Gruden's messages were sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football team, and others.

On Sunday, Gruden told ESPN that the league was reviewing emails from 2011 in which he criticized NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Gruden claimed he had written the emails when he was upset about team owners' lockout of the players in 2011, but his derogatory remarks were not limited to that occasion.

The Times notes that the "banter [of NFL elite] flies in the face of the league's public denouncements of racism and sexism and its promises to be more inclusive amid criticism for not listening to the concerns of Black players, who make up about 70 percent of rosters."

The NFL also has a history of protecting insiders who have committed acts of domestic violence and has been criticized for its failure to sufficiently address harassment of women, including NFL cheerleaders.

The Raiders announced that Rich Bisaccia, the special teams coordinator, will serve as interim head coach.

Related: Jeff Bezos Is Reportedly Looking to Buy an NFL Team

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and recently completed the MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

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