NFL Coach Resigns Following Release of Homophobic, Misogynistic, Racist Emails
Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned on Monday night after The New York Times published emails it obtained that contained homophobic, misogynistic, and racist slurs directed at National Football League staff and policies.
“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,” he said in a statement that was posted by the team’s Twitter account and accepted by owner Mark Davis.
"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."
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) October 12, 2021
The trove of private correspondences that were compiled by the Times revealed that Gruden “had casually and frequently unleashed misogynistic and homophobic language over several years to denigrate people around the game and to mock some of the league’s momentous changes.”
Gruden belittled the “emergence of women as referees, the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem,” according to the paper.
“Gruden’s messages were sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team, and others, while he was working for ESPN as a color analyst during Monday Night Football. In the emails, Gruden called the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a ‘f*ggot’ and a ‘clueless anti-football p*ssy’ and said that Goodell should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the coach of the Rams, to draft ‘queers,’ a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player chosen by the team in 2014,” the Times discovered. “In numerous emails during a seven-year period ending in early 2018, Gruden criticized Goodell and the league for trying to reduce concussions and said that Eric Reid, a player who had demonstrated during the playing of the national anthem, should be fired. In several instances, Gruden used a homophobic slur to refer to Goodell and offensive language to describe some N.F.L. owners, coaches, and journalists who cover the league.”
In one email to Allen dating from 2012, Gruden referred to Goodell, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, and then-Vice President Joe Biden as a “nervous clueless p*ssy.”
In another message to Allen in 2011, “Gruden, who is white and was working for ESPN at the time, criticized Smith’s intelligence and used a racist trope to describe his face,” the Times uncovered.