Raiders Coach Resigns After More Comments Are Revealed

Jon Gruden allegedly used homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic language
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2021 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2021 6:52 AM CDT
Jon Gruden Resigns After More Comments Are Revealed
In this Sept. 19, 2021, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden meets with the media following an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Don Wright, File)

(Newser) – Just one day after he insisted he's not racist, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is out. Gruden resigned Monday, saying in a statement issued by the NFL team, "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." On Friday, the Wall Street Journal revealed a 2011 email in which Gruden used a racist trope in reference to the Black leader of the players' union (it was that comment for which Gruden apologized Sunday). By Monday, the New York Times was out with more—a lot more. The resignation followed shortly. The Times reports that a separate workplace misconduct probe not directly related to Gruden found "frequent" use of misogynistic, homophobic language and comments by him over a period of several years while he was working for ESPN:

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  • Homophobia and transphobia: He spoke ill of the drafting of gay football player Michael Sam, saying the coach shouldn't have been pressured to draft "queers." He also used homophobic language to mock others in the league, and mocked Caitlyn Jenner after she transitioned to female.
  • Misogyny: He was unhappy with females becoming referees and shared a sexist meme on the matter; he also exchanged emails with photos of nearly-naked women, including two Washington team cheerleaders.
  • Language: He referred to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the homophobic f-slur, as well as a misogynistic slur (which he also used against others in the league, and even Joe Biden). He used other offensive language to describe others connected to the league.
  • Health: He criticized the league's work to reduce concussions, believing it was scaring parents into keeping kids away from the sport.
  • More: He did not think players kneeling during the national anthem should be tolerated, and said one player should be fired for doing so; he criticized the idea of forcing the Washington football team to change its former name, which some Native Americans considered a slur; and he mocked the idea of NFL players promoting racial equality and criminal justice reform.

The messages were sent to Bruce Allen, then president of what is now known as the Washington Football Team, and they were reviewed as part of a league investigation into workplace misconduct within that franchise. The Raiders' interim head coach will be former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, Sporting News reports. (Read more Jon Gruden stories.)

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