E-mail controversy brings Gruden’s departure as Raiders coach

The coaching tenure of Jon Gruden as the leader of the Las Vegas Raiders came to a sudden and stunning end on Monday, with the announcement of Gruden’s resignation, after e-mails surfaced containing racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments.  In a statement to the media, Gruden expressed remorse to the situation, saying “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.”

The New York Times reported that Gruden, while employed at ESPN a decade ago, frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL, including head of the players union, DeMaurice Smith (who is an African-American), and Michael Sam, the former University of Missouri defensive end who came out as homosexual prior to his rookie season in the NFL.  Other discovered e-mails pointed to Gruden criticizing the league for its “tolerance” in handling players kneeling for the National Anthem, 

With Gruden’s departure, special teams and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia will take over the job in Las Vegas on an interim basis.  While disappointed in losing a head coach that was showing improvement with the Raiders starting this season at 3-2, Las Vegas owner Mark Davis has only stated publicly that he “accepts Gruden’s resignation”.

Photo credit – Wikimedia Commons / Las Vegas, NV