BSSF Blog: Jon Gruden Resigns After Controversial Emails


The recently released emails predate Gruden’s tenure as Raiders head coach, which has now come to an end. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach, Jon Gruden, has resigned following a series of leaked emails containing homophobic and misogynistic content. It is the latest in a string of controversy surrounding the NFL, with Patriots owner Robert Kraft being just one example. Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has called the NFL a racist organization and, in protest, pushed for the league to support Black Lives Matter. Even though they have taken strides forward in doing so, the Gruden situation is a major step back.

In one of his emails, Gruden referred to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell using a homophobic slur and calling him “clueless” and “anti-football.” He also used anti-gay language when referring to an openly gay football player in the NFL, Micheal Sam. Furthermore, Gruden denounced the emergence of female referees and the tolerance of players protesting during the national anthem.

While these tweets did not occur during his time in Las Vegas, Gruden announced his resignation in a tweet published on Oct. 11.

“I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” he wrote. “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.”

Carl Nassib, the only openly gay football player on the Las Vegas Raiders, took a personal day after the news of the resignation was released. One of his teammates, tight end Darren Waller  made a statement on behalf of Nassib: “Somebody that you’ve been invested in battled with and you come out, and there’s a quote that says something like what was said, I can’t imagine what he must be feeling, and I respect him wanting to take his space and be able to come back clear-headed.”

Nassib has chosen not to release any public statements on the matter.

In its response to this ongoing situation, the NFL has chosen to investigate current teams or league personnel to see if any other homophobic, misogynistic or racist content has been sent in emails. Through its investigations, the NFL did not find any other emails containing language similar to that of Gruden, though that may soon change. Much of this stems from the league’s look into the Washington Football Team’s misconduct, which has come into question again.

The NFL continues to deal with controversies both small and large, with this one being something the league must overcome as soon as possible and hope to never repeat.