Raiders Sack Jon Gruden
What’s Next For Vegas?
First, it was Urban Meyer’s crazy night of partying, now Jon Gruden’s resignation. This season is getting juicier by the minute.
This past Monday, Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after the New York Times found that he used misogynistic and homophobic language in numerous emails dating back to 2011.
Raiders Owner, Mark Davis, accepted the resignation in a separate statement issued by the team. Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders’ special teams coordinator, was elevated to interim head coach.
It was first reported in the New York Times by NFL. officials 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 biggest changes.”
The initial investigation was concerning workplace misconduct amongst the Washington Football Team front office.
All of the messages were sent by Gruden to Bruce Allen, Former President of the Washington Football Team while working for ESPN as a color analyst for “Monday Night Football.”
In the emails, Gruden questioned many league motives, like openly questioning the decision for female referees and the tolerance for players kneeling during the National Anthem. He also called the league commissioner, Roger Goddell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti-football pussy.”
Furthermore, he said that Goddell should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the head coach of the Rams, to draft “queers,” a direct reference to Michael Sam, a gay player drafted by the Rams in 2014. Gruden used homophobic slurs and offensive language to refer to Goddell and several N.F.L. owners, coaches, and journalists who cover the league in several emails.
According to the reports, Gruden used his own email while conversing with Allen. The conversations with Allen frequently included several friends: Ed Droste, co-founder of Hooters; Jim McVay, a businessman who has run the Outback Bowl, held in Tampa, Fla.; and Nick Reader, founder of PDQ restaurants, a fried chicken chain based in Tampa.
Gruden joined the Raiders in 2018, a team that already consisted of Carl Nassib, the first active player NFL. to publicly announce that he is gay. Before that, he worked for ESPN for several years, mainly serving as a color analyst for “Monday Night Football.” His claim to fame, however, is winning the 2002 Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Gruden and Allen’s friendship goes back to 1998 when Gruden became head coach of the Oakland Raiders (he was head coach from 1998-2001), where Allen was a senior executive. Allen would later join Gruden in Tampa in 2004 as the general manager of the Bucs until 2008. Gruden left in 2008 and took the job with ESPN in 2010.
The league is already investigating Gruden regarding an email he wrote to Allen in 2011. He used racial remarks directed at DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, who is black. Smith and Mark Davis both denounced the comments made by Gruden when they surfaced.
Gruden stated on Friday before their game against the Chicago Bears that he had no recollection of sending the email and that he may have gone a bit too far. Gruden went on to coach in Sunday’s game against the Bears, in which they lost: 20-9.
After the resignation of Jon Gruden, the future for both Gruden and the Raiders remains uncertain. The Raiders have an interim head coach, but they need to find a head coach. The early candidates for that job include Eric Bieniemy, of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Kellen Moore, offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
The investigations regarding Gruden, Allen, and the emails are ongoing and will probably continue leading up to week six of the N.F.L. season.
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Jake Klausner is one of our new contributors here at thepyrrhic.com. Jake will be covering the NFL this season and maybe even some more American-based sports. Keep your eyes peeled for more from this author.