The New York Times reported Monday night that Jon Gruden, Las Vegas Raiders coach, used anti-gay and misogynistic language in multiple emails over a period of seven years beginning in 2011.
Additional Gruden emails were sent by the NFL to the Raiders to be reviewed. This was in addition to the one regarding DeMaurice Smith, executive director of NFL Players Association, which surfaced last week. Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Gruden also confirmed other Gruden to ESPN.
According to The Times Gruden was said to have sent emails to Bruce Allen (then the president of Washington Football Team), and other people during a period of seven years that ended in 2018.
Gruden wrote Allen, saying that Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, should not have forced Jeff Fisher, then-Rams coach, to draft "queers". This refers to Michael Sam, an ex-defensive end, who was drafted by The Times in 2014. The Times reported that Gruden also used anti-gay slurs in several instances, while referring to Goodell. Gruden also used offensive language when describing some owners, coaches, and media members who covered the league.
According to The Times Gruden also condemned the rise of women referees in emails. He said that safety Eric Reid should be fired for kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice. Gruden responded to a link containing information about NFL players asking for the support of the commissioner in their efforts to promote criminal justice reform and racial equality in 2017.
Gruden was an ESPN analyst on Monday Night Football when he sent these emails.
ESPN released a statement saying that the comments were "clearly repugnant in any circumstance."
The Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden had made a racist reference to Smith in one of his 2011 emails. Gruden, who apologized for his offense, said he was "ashamed" that he had insulted De Smith and that he "never thought racial thoughts" at the time he sent that email.
After Friday's Journal story broke, Mark Davis, Raiders owner, issued a statement calling Gruden's email to Smith "disturbing", and "not what they stand for."
Gruden's emails were discovered by the NFL during its investigation into workplace misconduct with Washington Football Team. According to Brian McCarthy, the league was informed that emails that raised concerns beyond the scope of the investigation. More than 650,000 emails were reviewed by senior league executives, including those between Gruden and Allen. For review, the NFL sent relevant emails to Raiders.
Gruden was the Raiders' leader from 1998 to 2001 when he was traded for Tampa Bay. He led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl title against the Raiders.
After enduring the 2008 season in Tampa, he was fired and then returned to the Monday Night Football booth.
Gruden was rehired by the Raiders in Oakland in 2018, with a $100 million 10-year contract. Last year, the team relocated to Las Vegas and hasn't made it to the playoffs since Gruden's return. In 2021, the Raiders are 3-1
This report was contributed by ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, and The Associated Press.