Former “Monday Night Football” commentator Jon Gruden stepped down as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders late Monday on the heels of a New York Times report that he repeatedly used homophobic and racist language in emails during his time working for ESPN.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement issued by the team via Twitter. “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.”
"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
Gruden first came under fire after The New York Times reported that NFL officials were aware that he frequently made offensive remarks to criticize the league’s decisions, decrying the introduction of women referees, some players’ decision to protest during the national anthem and the drafting of a gay player. Gruden’s emails came to light as part of a workplace misconduct legal case against the Washington Football Team.
Gruden sent emails to Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen and others over a seven-year period from 2011 to 2018, allegedly using slurs and offensive language to denounce various owners, coaches and journalists who cover the league, according to the Times. Gruden was employed by ESPN as the head analyst of “Monday Night Football” during that time until he was hired by the Raiders in 2018.
Gruden won a Super Bowl in 2002 during his six years with Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After several years on “Monday Night Football,” Gruden was hired by the Raiders in 2018 for his second time around as head coach of the franchise. The Raiders’ lineup includes Carl Nassib, the first NFL player to publicly declare his homosexuality.
The Raiders and Gruden had agreed to a 10-year contract reportedly valued at $100 million.