Skip to main content

Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders coach

A new trove of decade-old emails left Gruden unable to continue as the team's coach

Jon Gruden is resigning as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, less than an hour after the New York Times published a trove of damaging emails the coach sent years ago. 

The report came on the heels of a report late Friday night in which he used a racist trope to criticize NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith during the 2011 lockout in an email. 

Gruden said he didn't recall sending the email, but apologized nonetheless. It was denounced by Smith, by the NFL, and by the Raiders.

That was one email, dumped out late on a Friday night, that put Gruden into hot water.

The new trove of emails, found Gruden now fully submerged in boiling water.

In the emails, Gruden called the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti football pussy” 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.

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.

All the emails were written while Gruden was between coaching jobs and working for ESPN. They were uncovered during the NFL's investigation into the Washington Football Team's workplace culture. Gruden was corresponding with Bruce Allen, the WFT's former general manager and team president, with whom Gruden worked both in Oakland and Tampa Bay. 

Gruden coached the Raiders on Sunday, a 20-9 loss to Chicago. He was five games into the fourth season of a 10-year, $100 million contract that brought him out of a decade-long hiatus from coaching. 

We will have more as this story develops. Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

Update from Adam Schefter:

Gruden has issued the following statement: 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.