Jon Gruden says emails were 'shameful,' but still believes he's a good person

By , Audacy Sports

Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reflected on the emails that brought down his career in a recent interview.

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On one hand, Gruden admitted that he's embarrassed by the content of the leaked emails that eventually led to his resignation last October, which contained racist, homophobic and sexist language. Gruden, however, didn't stop after admitting to some wrongdoing.

"I'm not going to say anything but honest things here. I'm ashamed about what has come about in these emails," Gruden said at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. "And I'll make no excuses for it, it's shameful.

"But, I am a good person, I believe that," Gruden continued. "I go to church. I've been married for 31 years. I got three great boys. I still love football. I've made some mistakes, but I don't think anybody in here hasn't. And I just ask for forgiveness, and hopefully I get another shot."

Gruden is currently in a legal battle with the NFL, alleging that leaked emails were part of the league and commissioner Roger Goodell attempting to "publicly sabotage" his career.

It should be noted that the emails in question were sent to people on the franchise now known as the Washington Commanders' email server. The emails that showed Gruden using language that eventually forced him to resign are just a drop in the bucket of the 650,000 emails that were collected from the organization's server as Beth Wilkinson -- an attorney appointed by the league -- looked into allegations of a toxic workplace, specifically for women, inside the team's building. Nearly all of the remaining emails haven't been made public. It's unclear who leaked the Gruden ones, surely aware that they would have an extremely negative impact on his career.

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In between coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and eventually returning for a second stint as Raiders coach, Gruden was the game analyst on ESPN for Monday Night Football. He served in that role from 2009 through the 2017 season.

But while Mike Tirico -- Gruden's former broadcast partner that now works at NBC -- defended him after the first round of leaked emails, ESPN didn't hold back in being critical of Gruden once he resigned. Adam Schefter, the face of ESPN's NFL coverage, famously (or infamously) said after Gruden's resignation that he had "a clean sweep of offending NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, women, gays, minorities -- all sorts of people."

In addition to talking about the emails, Gruden had some choice words for the four-letter network, where he was once one of the stars.

"But I get choked up because there's a lot of misunderstanding out there right now -- what you read, what you hear, what you watch on TV," Gruden said, seeming to be emotional.

"Hell, I worked at ESPN for nine years, I worked hard at that job. I don't even wanna watch the channel anymore, because I don't believe everything is true. And I know a lot of it is just trying to get people to watch. But I think we gotta get back to reality. And that's why I look forward to Saturdays, because you're gonna get what you deserve when the whistle blows. And we'll see if the Razorbacks can get after Cincinnati, which I hope they do."

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