Reporters with The New York Times have uncovered a “trove” of emails sent by Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden over the course of seven years containing racist, misogynistic, and homophobic invective.
NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported Gruden plans to resign as a result of the emails being made public.
They were uncovered and released by NFL officials as part of a separate workplace misconduct investigation that did not directly involve Gruden.
According to The Times, Gruden “denounched the emergence of women as referees, the drafting of a gay player,” and players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against Black Americans.
Most of the messages were reportedly sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington Football Team, while Gruden was working for ESPN as an analyst for “Monday Night Football.” Several included homophobic and misogynistic slurs directed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and others, including President Joe Biden.
One particularly profane email reportedly insulted Goodell for “pressuring” the then-St. Louis Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher for drafting “queers”—a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player who joined the team in 2014.
Carl Nassib, the only active and out gay player in the NFL, is a defense end for the Raiders, and is coached by Gruden. Nassib has not yet commented on the content of Gruden’s emails.
Gruden also sent an email criticizing DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players’ Association, employing a “racist trope” to describe union head’s face.
The league, Smith, and Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, all denounced Gruden’s comments. Gruden has since admitted his language went “too far,” but insists he “never had a blade of racism” in him.
In another exchange, Gruden and Allen reportedly used transphobic language to mock Caitlyn Jenner after she received an award from ESPN in 2015. Later that year, the pair exchanged emails denouncing a decision to change the name of the Washington Football Team from a racist slur used against Native Americans.
After resigning, Gruden released a statement.
This is a developing story.