Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders’ head coach after leaked emails

Luke Sugar, Sports Editor

Less than two weeks ago, Jon Gruden was head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the middle of a 10 year $100 million contract. Now Gruden is no longer the head coach of the Raiders, he will never have a career in professional sports again, and he deservedly is under extreme scrutiny from the entire world. 

During Monday night football on October 11, Jon Gruden had some emails leaked that he sent ranging from 2011 to 2018. At the time, Gruden worked for ESPN. Gruden said disgusting, offensive, and hurtful things in those emails, including racist, sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic language. Not long after these emails were leaked, Gruden resigned as the Raiders head coach.  

In one of his first leaked emails from 2011, Gruden racially attacked Demaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association. Gruden made racial comments on Smith’s physical features, as well as referring to him as “Dumboriss Smith.” This news was a shock to most people, but there was also a fair share of people who weren’t surprised by Gruden’s foul and horrible comments. 

Keyshawn Johnson, a former wide receiver who played under Gruden, spoke adamantly against his former coach on his ESPN show, “Keyshawn, JWill & Max.” Johnson said that “[Gruden has] just always been a fraud to me. From day one he’s been a used car salesman and people bought it.” Johnson also said Gruden is a bad person, and he tried to tell people that when he was playing for him. Clearly there are people who saw through Gruden even before these emails were leaked.  

In more emails, it was revealed Gruden was also extremely homophobic. He had an email criticizing the Rams’ draft selection in 2014 of Michael Sam, a gay player. Gruden essentially said in his emails that Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, should not allow or encourage teams to draft gay players. Gruden’s awful emails didn’t end there, either. Gruden also showed opposition to the NFL hiring women as referees. At the time, Gruden shared a majority of his racist, homophobic and sexist emails with former American football executive, Bruce Allen. The two shared pornographic material over email and used derogatory language towards Barack Obama, President Biden and Roger Goodell.              

Jon Gruden released an apology statement on October 11 for all of his emails. At the end of it he said, “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.” But Gruden’s countless offensive and insulting words did hurt people. They hurt everyone. After his apology Gruden said he was done talking about his emails. 

Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, spoke briefly after Gruden resigned as head coach. Davis said, “No comment. Ask the NFL. They have all the answers.” 

On First Take, an ESPN show, Stephen A. Smith responded to Davis’ comment. Stephen A. Smith said, “You know what that said to me? They made me get rid of Jon Gruden, I didn’t want to do it. Mark Davis basically told on himself.”

Clearly there is a lot to be concerned about in the Raiders management and front office. The owner of an organization should be the one addressing problems and talking about concerns. Instead, Davis’ comments seemed immature and made him appear as part of the problem. 

With the sudden departure of their head coach, the Raiders will have to adjust quickly in a very competitive AFC West division. The Raiders introduced Rich Bisaccia, their assistant head coach, as their interim head coach for the time being. Even after Gruden’s exit, the Raiders picked up a week 6 win over the divisional rival Broncos. The Raiders improved to 4-2 on the season, tied for first in the division with the Los Angeles Chargers, who beat the Raiders in week 4.  

Raiders fans might have some questions and concerns about their team currently, but they are doing well so far this season. And the important thing is that Jon Gruden is out and won’t be coaching the Raiders, or any team, ever again.