Gruden was in the fourth year of his 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders. Gruden led them to a 22-31 record during his second stint with the team and never made it to the playoffs.
He was given the franchise's keys to build his team the way he wanted to, but it never translated to success on the field.
Gruden issued a statement just moments after stepping down as Raiders head coach:
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.”
Why did Jon Gruden resign?
The Raiders head coach resigned following a New York Times report that revealed shocking emails he exchanged with Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team. The emails included racist tropes, homophobic slurs and misogynistic comments, among other distasteful assertions.
Gruden targeted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Michael Sam – the first openly gay player drafted in the league – and even denounced female referees. Gruden also stated that Eric Reid, the former San Francisco 49ers' safety who kneeled during the national anthem, should be fired.
The NFL discovered these emails during their investigation into the Washington Football Team following reports of workplace misconduct within the organization. More than 650,000 emails were investigated, including the ones Gruden sent to Bruce Allen.
Gruden casually used misogynistic and homophobic language over seven years. He called Roger Goodell a "f****t" and a "clueless p***y" and said that Goodell should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, the former Rams' coach, to draft "queers." Gruden was referring to Michael Sam, who the Los Angeles Rams picked in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2011 Gruden used racist, insensitive language to refer to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. The NFL and the NFLPA were in the middle of a lockout in 2011 when Gruden wrote an email to Allen, criticizing Smith and calling him "Dumborris Smith." He also said that "he(Smith) had lips the size of michellin tires."
The Las Vegas Raiders are 3-2 this season. They lost to the Bears 20-9 last Sunday and will play their first game under a new head coach against the Denver Broncos.
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