Jon Gruden Out As NFL Coach After New Emails Show Him Calling Commissioner Goodell A Gay Slur
Jon Gruden will no longer serve as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, the team said Monday, after a trove of years-old emails showed him lashing out against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in homophobic terms, exchanging sexist banter and making racist comments about an NFL players’ union official’s appearance.
When Gruden worked as a commentator for ESPN, he called Goodell a “faggot” and an “anti football pussy” — among other insults — in emails to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, the New York Times reported Monday.
Gruden also reportedly suggested that safety Eric Reid should lose his job for kneeling during the National Anthem, and criticized Goodell for ostensibly pushing the Rams —- which drafted openly gay Michael Sam in 2014 — to hire “queers” (Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first openly gay player on an active NFL roster earlier this year).
Another person emailed Gruden a meme depicting a female referee in sexist terms, prompting him to respond, “Nice job roger,” the Times reported.
A league source confirmed the Times story’s accuracy to Forbes.
Gruden first came under fire last week for using a racist caricature to describe NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith — who is Black — in a 2011 email, the Wall Street Journal reported. He said Smith, whom he called “Dumborris,” has “lips the size of michellin [sic] tires.” Both the Raiders and the NFL criticized Gruden, and Gruden apologized in an interview with the Journal.
“I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” Gruden said in a Monday statement on Twitter announcing his resignation. “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Gruden acknowledged to ESPN on Friday that he used an expletive to describe Goodell in a 2011 email, claiming he was frustrated with the NFL lockout and mounting concerns about the safety of football.
Gruden was hired as the Raiders’ head coach in 2018. It followed an initial turn at the Raiders’ helm in the late 1990s, several years as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach in the early 2000s, and a few years as an ESPN analyst. The emails between Gruden and Allen surfaced during an NFL investigation into harassment and misconduct at the Washington Football Team, according to the Times and Journal.