How did Las Vegas Raiders players react to Jon Gruden's racist email scandal?

Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden
Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden
Nick Goodling

A scandal involving former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has taken the NFL by storm. Raiders players have been affected by this in different ways. Gruden had emails made public by the New York Times that were homophobic, misogynistic, and racist.

The initial emails surfaced from 2011. But the emails continued throughout the years that Gruden was a Monday Night Football announcer. Gruden is a player's coach who has established relationships with everyone on his team. Raiders players were asked by ESPN their thoughts about the scandal.

From @gmfb on last night’s big news: The timeline of events leading to Jon Gruden’s stunning resignation as #Raiders coach. @nflnetwork

How did Las Vegas Raiders players react to Jon Gruden's racist email scandal?

Gruden spoke to the Raiders players on Friday morning. He told his team something was going to come out about the things he said. Derek Carr and Gruden seemed to have had a shaky relationship for a long time. But Carr's quote made it sound like the team accepted Gruden's apology.

"Us as a team, we're like, 'Yeah, Coach, it was 10 years ago. We love you, man. We got your back. We're just trying to be there to support Coach. I know it's a hard time for him. ... He told us, 'Men, learn from my mistake.' When we left that meeting, we didn't take it as how it came out."

Gruden addressed Raiders players on Friday. That was before his misogynistic and homophobic emails were released publicly on Monday. When asked about Gruden on Friday night, running back Josh Jacobs was forgiving of his head coach.

"He's never rubbed me a certain way, that type of way. I mean, what he said is what he said at the end of the day too. But I mean, I definitely trust him. I mean, it was 10 years ago. People grow.
"All the guys, we all kind of talked about how we felt about it and how [Gruden] treats the players. He's a players' coach. So, everybody was kind of like ... just overanalyzing it. I don't think it's going to affect it, because our guys, we're led by each other.

Raiders players are in shock

Raiders players are put in an uncomfortable spot as a result of this scandal. They have to separate what they know about Gruden versus what's been revealed about him. When you work with someone every day, it's hard to swallow this kind of news coming out.

One #Raiders player said to me tonight, "When we met today we were moving on to the next game-Denver. This news now is just shocking. At the same time, he told us he said a lot. On one hand I knew it was some foul stuff, on the other hand, we know the man we work with every day."

The Raiders have the first gay player to play in a regular-season game, Carl Nassib. When Nassib came out as gay this year, Gruden supported him publicly. It's tough to imagine how Nassib must feel now that this news has been made public.

The comments by Gruden will have a lasting effect on every Raiders player who has played for Gruden since 2018.

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Edited by Samuel Green
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