Longtime Head Coach Jon Gruden announced his resignation from the Las Vegas Raiders on October 11 following the leak of racist, homophobic, and sexist emails . In a tweet from the Las Vegas Raiders official Twitter, Gruden states, “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.”
This resignation follows a New York Times report that Gruden made racist, homophobic, and sexist comments about NFL cheerleaders, leadership, and public officials. Gruden repeatedly called NFL league commissioner Roger Goddell homophobic slurs and criticized the NFL for drafting “queer” players. Gruden previously coached Las Vegas Raiders defensive end, Carl Nassib, the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Emails also surfaced where Gruden made racist remarks about DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association. He also criticized NFL player Eric Reid for taking a knee to protest police brutality in America. Gruden also emailed lewd photos of NFL cheerleaders.
“I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”Jon Gruden
Gruden sent these emails between 2008 to 2018 to Bruce Allen, former General Manager of the Washington Football Team, who was fired in 2019. The emails were uncovered as a part of a larger investigation into the Washington franchise’s toxic workplace environment.
This news shocked Raiders fans who were excited about Gruden. Some felt no one else wanted the Raiders coaching job. Gruden coached the Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2001, where the team attended consecutive playoffs in his tenure as Head Coach. In 2018, the Raiders offered Gruden a 10-year, $100 million dollar contract.
For some football fans, the cons outweigh any pros that Gruden may have brought to the team in his tenure. “It’s very hard to win games in the NFL,” NFL fan Matthew Griffin stated. “Any sort of distraction from leadership isn’t good. It takes the focus off the actual preparation to win games.”
Minutes after the announcement, Owner Mark Davis accepted Gruden’s resignation. The Raiders announced that Rich Bisaccia will be the interim head coach, effective immediately.