Jon Gruden’s NFL coaching career is in tatters after he was found to have used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language… despite his defence, there is unlikely to be any way back for the former Las Vegas Raiders chief
- Jon Gruden is no longer the Las Vegas Raiders head coach amid email scandal
- Wall Street Journal released historical emails in which Gruden made racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments
- Gruden says he doesn’t ‘have a racial bone in his body’ and has defended himself
- His career is in tatters and there is unlikely to be any way back for the 58-year-old
After using homophobic, misogynistic and racist language in historical emails, Jon Gruden resigned in disgrace as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. His career is in tatters.
Last week it was revealed that Gruden said the NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith ‘has lips the size of michellin [sic] tires’ in 2011.
But the NFL did nothing despite the leak by the Wall Street Journal. Gruden, 58, backtracked, saying he uses the phrase ‘rubber lips’ frequently to describe liars.
Jon Gruden has left his role as head coach of the NFL franchise Las Vegas Raiders this week
Gruden stepped down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured)
‘I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years,’ Gruden said.
But after numerous emails between 2011-18 were leaked by the New York Times, there was no way back.
It was revealed that Gruden, then an ESPN analyst, called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ‘a f*****’ and a ‘clueless anti-football pussy’.
Gruden criticised Goodell for putting pressure on former St Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft ‘queers’. The Rams picked Michael Sam – who came out as openly gay – in the seventh round of the 2014 draft.
And while Sam didn’t play in an NFL game, the Raiders’ Carl Nassib – who came out before the 2021 season – did.
It was revealed that Gruden said the NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith (pictured) ‘has lips the size of michellin [sic] tires’ in 2011
Gruden mocked several advances made by the NFL. He was disparaging on the subject of female referees and advancement in concussion protocol.
He said that Eric Reid – who protested police brutality alongside Colin Kaepernick by taking the knee – should be fired.
‘I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone,’ Gruden said in a statement.
The emails were sent to Bruce Allen – former president of the Washington Football Team – and other men. Gruden and Allen worked together at Oakland and Tampa Bay, and Allen was fired by Washington in 2019.
The correspondences were released as part of the NFL’s investigation into current Washington owner Dan Snyder’s ‘toxic’ work environment.
Ex-Raiders coach Gruden during a game against the Dolphins on September 26 in Las Vegas
Over a dozen female employees accused executives of misconduct and sexual harassment – but those emails are yet to be made public and Snyder remains in charge. As an aside, he fired Gruden’s brother Jay as head coach in 2019.
It is a rapid downfall for Gruden, who was in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100million deal he signed in 2018. In his second tenure, the Raiders are 22-31.
He took charge of his final game on Sunday, a defeat 20-9 by the Chicago Bears.
Gruden previously coached the Raiders, then of Oakland, from 1998-2001. He left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and duly won a Super Bowl in his first season – beating the Raiders.
Smith, the NFLPA executive director, responded to Gruden’s comments on Twitter
Gruden was fired by the Bucs in 2009 and joined ESPN as colour commentator.
Neither the NFL nor Gruden have responded to requests for comments.
On Monday Night Football on ESPN, Gruden’s former colleagues Mike Tirico and Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy defended Gruden and felt his apology was sincere.
‘I have accepted Jon Gruden’s resignation as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,’ said owner Mark Davis in a statement.
ESPN said: ‘The comments are clearly repugnant under any circumstance,’ in a statement.