Following accusations of emails that he wrote over a 10-year span that contained racist, misogynistic, and anti-gay rhetoric, Las Vegas Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, has resigned.
“I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” Gruden said in a statement Monday night. “Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Mark Davis, the Raiders’ owner, issued a brief statement accepting Gruden’s resignation. The organization stated that assistant coach Rich Bisaccia will take over as interim head coach immediately. On Wednesday, Bisaccia will speak with the media during his availability.
According to ESPN, Gruden resigned shortly after The New York Times reported that during a seven-year span, he used misogynistic and anti-gay language in multiple emails. That news came just days after Gruden’s 10-year-old emails leaked, including a racial remark against NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and a crude attack of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
During a seven-year span that concluded in 2018, Gruden allegedly wrote emails to Bruce Allen, then-president of the Washington Football Team, and others.
According to The New York Times, Gruden emailed Allen, Goodell should not have pressured then St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher to choose “queers,” alluding to former defensive end Michael Sam, who was drafted in 2014. Gruden reportedly used anti-gay slurs in multiple instances when referring to Goodell, as well as derogatory language to disparage some league owners, coaches, and journalists.
During that time, Gruden was the main analyst for Monday Night Football for ESPN when he sent the emails that are now being investigated.
“The comments are clearly repugnant under any circumstance,” ESPN said in a statement.
Gruden’s emails also contained heated language directed at a few team owners participating in the 2011 labor dispute that resulted in a lockout.
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Gruden said Smith had “lips the size of [Michelin] tires” in an email to Allen.
Gruden claimed that he routinely used the term “rubber lips” to “refer to a guy I catch as lying. he can’t spit it out.”
“I’m ashamed I insulted De Smith. I never had a racial thought when I used it,” Gruden told ESPN. “I’m embarrassed by what’s out there. I certainly never meant for it to sound that bad.”
According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, the emails surfaced during the NFL’s inquiry into workplace misconduct with Washington, when “the league was informed of the existence of emails that raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation.” The content of over 650,000 emails was reviewed by senior league executives, including the one written by Gruden to Allen, according to the Journal.
The NFL forwarded relevant emails to the Raiders for their assessment.