Jon Gruden has announced his resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after a trove of old emails revealed he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language in discussing the league, its players and officials.
Here’s what we know right now:
How did this happen so quickly?
Gruden’s behavior recently came under scrutiny when the Wall Street Journal uncovered an email he sent in 2011 in which he used a racist trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. That email, sent to former NFL general manager Bruce Allen, came to light as part of the league’s investigation into the Washington Football Team, which concluded this summer.
“I don’t have a racial bone in my body, and I’ve proven that for 58 years,” Gruden later told the Journal.
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Is one email a firing offense?
Not in most cases. However, the NFL found additional emails as part of a separate investigation, which contained even more damning information, according to a report in the New York Times.
In the additional emails covering a nearly seven-year period and ending in 2018, Gruden described NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in homophobic and derogatory terms and criticized the league for the way it handled player protests during the national anthem.
Has Michael Sam responded?
Gruden used a homophobic term in an email when referring to then-St. Louis Rams’ decision to select Michael Sam, an openly gay defensive end, in the 2014 draft.
Sam did not respond directly but used the praying hands emoji to quote-tweet a user on Twitter who thanked him for his bravery on National Coming Out Day.
What did Gruden say upon resigning?
Gruden released a statement through the Raiders on Monday night that said, “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.”
How did the Raiders react to the news?
After the Wall Street Journal report on Gruden’s comments about Smith came out on October 8, Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement that he found it “disturbing” and “not what the Raiders stand for.”
However, Gruden was not immediately disciplined and he coached the Raiders in their 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Raiders did not issue any comment after news broke Monday night that Gruden had decided to resign.
Why did Gruden take the Raiders job?
Gruden, who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title after the 2002 season, returned to coaching in 2018 after 10 years as an analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts.
He signed 10-year, $100-million deal to return to the Raiders, a franchise he previously coached from 1998-2001 when the team was based in Oakland. He was a third of way into his fourth season with a record of 22-31. The team is currently tied for second place in the AFC West at 3-2.
Overall, Gruden has a career record of 117-112 (.511) over 15 seasons.
Who will be coaching the Raiders now?
The Raiders named special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia as the team’s interim coach. Bisaccia, 61, had spent 11 years with Gruden in the NFL after also leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ special teams under him from 2002-08. He served as assistant head coach position with the Raiders, Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers (2012) and Dallas Cowboys (2013-17).
Bisaccia got the nod over defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, offensive line coach Tom Cable and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, all of whom have previous head-coaching experience. Bisaccia has never served as a head coach at any level.
Contributing: Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz