Jon Gruden stepped down Monday because the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders soccer group hours after The New York Occasions detailed emails wherein he had made homophobic and misogynistic remarks, following an earlier report of racist statements a couple of union chief.
His resignation was a putting departure from the soccer league for a coach who had gained a Tremendous Bowl, been a marquee analyst on ESPN and returned to the N.F.L. in 2018 to guide the resurgent Raiders, which he had coached years earlier than.
“I’ve resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” he mentioned on Twitter in a statement issued by the team. “I really like the Raiders and don’t need to be a distraction. Thanks to all of the gamers, coaches, workers, and followers of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I by no means meant to harm anybody.”
Mark Davis, the proprietor of the Raiders, said in a statement that he had accepted the resignation. Wealthy Bisaccia, the Raiders’ particular groups coordinator, was elevated to interim head coach, the group mentioned.
Gruden’s departure got here after a New York Occasions report that N.F.L. officers, as a part of a separate office misconduct investigation that didn’t straight contain him, discovered that Gruden had casually and often unleashed misogynistic and homophobic language over a number of years to denigrate folks across the recreation and to mock among the league’s momentous modifications.
He denounced the emergence of ladies as referees, the drafting of a homosexual participant and the tolerance of players protesting in the course of the enjoying of the nationwide anthem, in accordance with emails reviewed by The Occasions.
Gruden’s messages have been despatched to Bruce Allen, the previous president of the Washington Soccer Workforce, and others, whereas he was working for ESPN as a shade analyst throughout “Monday Evening Soccer.” Within the emails, Gruden known as the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti soccer pussy” and mentioned that Goodell mustn’t have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the coach of the Rams, to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, a homosexual participant chosen by the group in 2014.
In quite a few emails throughout a seven-year interval ending in early 2018, Gruden criticized Goodell and the league for attempting to cut back concussions and mentioned that Eric Reid, a participant who had demonstrated in the course of the enjoying of the nationwide anthem, ought to be fired. In a number of situations, Gruden used a homophobic slur to check with Goodell and offensive language to explain some N.F.L. house owners, coaches and journalists who cowl the league.
Gruden, Allen, the N.F.L., and the Raiders didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Though not with a group on the time, Gruden was nonetheless influential within the league and extremely coveted as a coach. He had gained a Tremendous Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2002 season. And in 2018, he was employed for his second stint as the pinnacle coach of the Raiders franchise, which incorporates defensive lineman Carl Nassib, the first active N.F.L. player to publicly declare that he is gay.
The league mentioned final week that it shared emails with the Raiders wherein Gruden made derogatory feedback.
Gruden told ESPN on Sunday that the league was reviewing emails wherein he criticized Goodell, and defined that he had been upset about group house owners’ lockout of the gamers in 2011, when among the emails have been written. Gruden mentioned in that interview that he had used an expletive to check with Goodell and that he did so as a result of he disapproved of Goodell’s emphasis on security, which he believed was scaring dad and mom into steering their sons away from soccer.
However Gruden’s conduct was not restricted to 2011. Gruden exchanged emails with Allen and different males that included pictures of ladies sporting solely bikini bottoms, together with one picture of two Washington group cheerleaders.
Gruden additionally criticized President Barack Obama throughout his re-election marketing campaign in 2012, in addition to then-Vice President Joseph R. Biden, whom Gruden known as a “nervous clueless pussy.” He used related phrases to explain Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the manager director of the N.F.L. Gamers Affiliation.
The league is already investigating Gruden because of one other electronic mail he wrote to Allen in 2011 wherein he used racist phrases to explain Smith, who’s Black.
In that electronic mail, Gruden, who’s white and was working for ESPN on the time, criticized Smith’s intelligence and used a racist trope to explain his face. The correspondence was first reported by The Wall Road Journal and confirmed by The New York Times.
Taken collectively, the emails present an unvarnished look into the clubby tradition of 1 N.F.L. circle of friends, the place white male determination makers felt comfy sharing pornographic photos, deriding the league insurance policies, and jocularly sharing homophobic language.
Their banter flies within the face of the league’s public denouncements of racism and sexism and its guarantees to be extra inclusive amid criticism for not listening to the issues of Black gamers, who make up about 70 % of rosters. The N.F.L. has previously struggled to self-discipline personnel who’ve dedicated acts of home violence and been condemned for failing to adequately handle harassment of ladies, together with N.F.L. cheerleaders.
The league, Smith and Davis all denounced Gruden’s feedback about Smith after they surfaced, however the coach nonetheless led his group in its recreation on Sunday towards the Chicago Bears. Gruden mentioned Friday that he didn’t keep in mind sending the e-mail and that his language “went too far,” including, “I by no means had a blade of racism in me.”
Gruden’s emails to Allen, who was fired by the Washington Soccer Workforce on the finish of 2019, have been reviewed as a part of an N.F.L. investigation of workplace misconduct within the franchise that ended this summer. Goodell instructed league executives to take a look at greater than 650,000 emails in the course of the previous few months, together with these wherein Gruden made offensive remarks. Final week, Goodell obtained a abstract of their findings and the league despatched the Raiders among the emails written by Gruden.
Within the exchanges, Gruden used his private electronic mail account whereas Allen wrote from his group account. In some circumstances, Allen initiated the conversations and Gruden chimed in, whereas in different circumstances, they commerce vulgar feedback a number of occasions.
A number of the emails between Gruden and Allen additionally included businessmen buddies, Ed Droste, the co-founder of Hooters; Jim McVay, an govt who has run the Outback Bowl, yearly held in Tampa, Fla.; and Nick Reader, the founding father of PDQ Eating places, a Tampa-based fried hen franchise. The exchanges start as early as 2010 whereas Gruden was an analyst for “Monday Evening Soccer.” In 2018, he signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to educate the Raiders.
Droste, McVay, and Reader didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Gruden and Allen are longtime buddies and colleagues. Allen was a senior govt with the Raiders from 1995 to 2003, when he labored with Gruden, who was head coach of the group from 1998 to 2001. Gruden grew to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 and beat the Raiders within the Tremendous Bowl that season. Allen grew to become the overall supervisor there in 2004. Allen and Gruden each left the Buccaneers after the 2008 season. Whereas Gruden moved on to a broadcast position with ESPN, Allen grew to become the overall supervisor in Washington in 2010 and later the group’s president.
Allen, who’s the son of legendary N.F.L. coach George Allen, and Gruden — whose father coached at Notre Dame and whose brother, Jay, was head coach in Washington from 2014 to 2019 — are a part of an unique community that cycles between N.F.L. groups, networks and firms affiliated with the league.
In June, the N.F.L. congratulated Nassib after he grew to become the first active N.F.L. player to publicly declare that he is gay. Goodell mentioned he was “pleased with Carl for courageously sharing his reality in the present day. Illustration issues.”
Privately, Allen and Gruden appeared to have few boundaries in expressing homophobic and transphobic language. In a single electronic mail from 2015 that features Droste, McVay and others, Gruden crudely requested Allen to inform Bryan Glazer, whose household owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the place Gruden coached till 2008, to carry out oral intercourse on him. Allen mentioned Glazer would “take you up on that provide.”
Allen and Gruden additionally mocked Caitlyn Jenner, who obtained an award from ESPN in 2015 after she transitioned.
In an electronic mail from 2015, Allen and Gruden criticized a congressional invoice that aimed to drive the Washington franchise to vary its title, which the team stopped using last year. Once more utilizing a vulgar time period, Gruden took goal at Goodell and his workers regardless that the commissioner had initially defended the group’s proper to maintain the title.
In 2017, Droste shared with the group a sexist meme of a feminine referee to which Gruden replied, “Good job roger.”
That very same yr, Gruden was despatched a link to an article about N.F.L. gamers calling on Goodell to help their efforts selling racial equality and felony justice reform. Gruden had recommendation for Goodell:
“He wants to cover in his concussion protocol tent,” he wrote.