Following recent articles in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times detailing the use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms by Jon Gruden in emails reportedly dating back to 2010, Gruden has resigned as Las Vegas Raiders head coach, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday night.
Gruden was five games into the fourth season of a 10-year contract with the franchise, for which he previously coached in a prior stint.
“I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement, obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. “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.”
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia has been named the Raiders’ interim head coach.
The resignation of Gruden, 58, comes three days removed from a report from the The Wall Street Journal that detailed a 2011 email in which he used a racial trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who is Black, and less than two hours after the release of a New York Times article on Monday night that revealed Gruden used homophobic and misogynistic terms in other emails dating back to 2010.
Gruden spoke with Raiders owner Mark Davis on Monday to inform Davis of his decision to step down, Pelissero reported.
Davis released a short statement Monday night.
“I have accepted Jon Gruden’s resignation as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Davis said.
The New York Times story reported findings of Gruden using “misogynistic and homophobic language over several years to denigrate people around the game and to mock some of the league’s momentous changes.”
These messages emanated from emails sent to then-Washington team president Bruce Allen while Gruden was a Monday Night Football analyst for ESPN. In these emails, Gruden is alleged to have used homophobic and misogynistic terms to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Gruden also reportedly emailed Allen that Goodell should not have pressured then-Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said to draft Michael Sam in 2014. Sam was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
In Friday’s Journal article, it was revealed that Gruden sent an email to Allen during the 2011 NFL lockout that read, in part, “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” referring to Smith.
The league and Raiders owner Mark Davis released statements Friday that condemned Gruden’s comments regarding Smith.
Gruden issued an apology on Sunday following the Raiders’ loss to the Chicago Bears.
“All I can say is that I’m not a racist,” Gruden said. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. I apologize for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all. But… yes, they can… I’m not like that at all. I apologize but I don’t want to keep addressing it.”
Smith released his first statement regarding Gruden’s email on Monday only shortly before the Times’ article’s release.
Having coached the Raiders initially from 1998 to 2001, Gruden returned to the franchise in 2018 and signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to become the head coach once again.
After coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002 to ’08, a stint that included piloting the franchise to its first Super Bowl win, Gruden joined ESPN in 2009 for a nine-year run as an analyst.
His return to the Raiders brought with it hope of a storied franchise’s resurrection.
Gruden, whose career record is 117-112, was unable to lead the Raiders to the playoffs in his first three seasons back with the franchise, going 22-31 during his second run.
Less than halfway through his contract, Gruden is leaving the Silver and Black after a stunning fall that began Friday and concluded Monday night.