NFL: Accused of racism, misogyny and homophobia, Jon Gruden resigns

Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden September 19, 2021 - Don Wright / AP / SIPA
Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden September 19, 2021 - Don Wright / AP / SIPA

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned, according to several U.S. media outlets Monday, shaken by accusations of misogynistic and homophobic comments, after already being accused of making racist remarks a few days ago. Jon Gruden resigned after a meeting with Raiders owner Mark Davis earlier Monday, according to NFL Network and ESPN.

Jon Gruden's decision comes after a tumultuous 72-hour period that began Friday when the Wall Street Journal revealed that the coach used a racist comparison to describe players' union leader DeMaurice Smith. In the email, Gruden describes Smith as having "lips the size of Michelin tires," words that draw on racist cartoon imagery.

Gruden is "ashamed"

The American Football League (NFL) condemned the email in a statement, calling it "appalling, abhorrent and completely contrary to the values of the NFL." In comments to ESPN over the weekend, Gruden said he was "ashamed" of his remarks, insisting that there was "not an ounce of racism" in his person.

But on Monday, the New York Times reported that it had reviewed several other emails from the coach in which he used anti-gay and misogynistic slurs to denigrate issues such as the emergence of female referees or the recruitment of a gay player. In other emails, he mocked players who protested during the U.S. national anthem, calling for them to be fired.

Old messages unearthed

In the emails reviewed by the newspaper, Jon Gruden also used anti-gay slurs to attack NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, calling him a "faggot" and a "brainless anti-football pussy." The Times reported that the emails came from a separate workplace misconduct investigation that did not directly involve Gruden.

The emails were to Bruce Allen, former president of the Washington soccer team, while Jon Gruden was working as a studio analyst for ESPN. Jon Gruden had returned to practice with the Raiders in 2018 after a 10-year absence.


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