Pelissero on Gruden: 'Someone, somewhere wanted these emails to become public'


Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night after a bombshell report from The New York Times revealed that he used racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language in emails across a seven-year period ending in 2018.

Gruden's emails were reportedly divulged during the NFL's investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team, and forwarded to the Raiders by the league last week. Many emails were sent to Bruce Allen, who was fired as Washington's president back in 2019.

"There's going to be pushes from various news outlets to try to gain access to the information, but this isn't a police investigation," NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero told The DA Show on Tuesday. "This isn't a matter of a public records request, where the media is entitled to the information. Someone, somewhere wanted these emails from Gruden to become public. And the end result today is that he's out of the Raiders and, quite likely, out of the NFL...

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"Based on conversations I had, it was tenuous within the [Raiders'] building... There was, on some level, a little sense of relief last night that I gathered from people within the organization that, at least now, it's over and you can get past this. Could he have been able to win back the locker room, move forward as coach had additional emails not come out? Anything's possible... It became abundantly clear to Gruden that he couldn't move forward..."

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that, in a 2011 email, Gruden used a racial trope to criticize NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith. Following Las Vegas' loss on Sunday, Gruden apologized for his "insensitive remarks" about Smith, telling reporters in his postgame press conference that he's not a racist.

According to The Times, Gruden's emails also featured a vulgar criticism of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and revealed that Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player, Michael Sam, the tolerance of NFL players protesting during the national anthem, and league's hiring of women as on-field officials. Although Sam's career was short-lived, back in June, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active player to publicly announce that he's gay.

Shortly after Gruden's announcement, Raiders owner Mark Davis released his own statement via Twitter, saying that he accepted Gruden's resignation. The team named assistant coach Rich Bisaccia as their interim head coach.

Under Gruden's watch, the Raiders went 21-31 across four seasons. He signed an NFL-record 10-year, $100 million contract with Las Vegas back in 2018, and failed to reach the playoffs or achieve a winning season once. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Raiders (3-2) currently have a 32-percent chance to reach the playoffs, and a 6-percent chance to win the AFC West.

The entire Gruden-Raiders conversation between Pelissero and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The DA Show on Twitter @DAonCBS and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.