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Jon Gruden resigns as Las Vegas Raiders head coach
Updated February 9, 2023
Just like that, one of the top teams in the AFC West has shook things up in a big way for its staff. Earlier this week, shocking news arrived, as Jon Gruden resigns as Las Vegas Raiders head coach due to some stunning e-mails that were discovered during an investigation of the Washington Football Team. It was expected that Mark Davis would fire Gruden, but the veteran leader decided to step down instead.
Anti-gay and racist e-mails led to Gruden stepping down as head coach
In case you missed it, anti-gay and racist-emails led to Gruden stepping down as head coach. Late last week, it was discovered via The Wall Street Journal that Gruden had used a racial trobe to describe NFLPA Chief DeMaurice Smith. In that e-mail, Gruden said that Smith has ‘lips the size of Michelin tires’ which of course was downright offensive. When pressed about the e-mail, Gruden apologized and said he had learned from his past mistakes.
However, that was only the start of his problems. On Monday, the New York Times dropped a new piece after it reviewed countless e-mails that Gruden had sent. This included messages to former Washington Football team executive Bruce Allen. In those e-mails, Gruden used a homophobic slur to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. On top of that, Gruden also blasted Goodell for pressuring Jeff Fisher to draft Michael Sam.
Sam, now out of the NFL, was the first openly gay football player to be selected in the NFL Draft. He was taken by the Rams in the 2014 Draft in the seventh round when the team was still over in St. Louis. Gruden wasn’t a head coach at that time. Remember, he signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders back in 2018. It was a massive deal and he still had six years on that contract. However, Gruden knew he had no choice but to step down as coach.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement on Monday shortly after the New York Times dropped its breaking news piece. “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.”
What exactly did the Jon Gruden e-mails say?
You might be wondering what exactly did the Jon Gruden e-mails say? They sure were nothing short of offensive, folks and they’ve stunned Raiders nation as a whole. In one e-mail he called Goodell a ‘fa****’ and also a ‘clueless anti football pu***.’ That wasn’t the end of it, though. The New York Times also found that he said that Goodell indeed was pressuring Fisher and the Rams to select ‘quee**’ in the draft with the selection of Sam in the seventh round.
There’s more than that, though. The e-mails revealed that Gruden also blasted players for protesting during the National Anthem, a movement which started with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He also exchanged photos of topless women with Allen, which included pictures of former Washington Football Team cheerleaders. This of course was a massive no-no.
According to multiple reports, as soon as the NFL found out about the New York Times report, they waited to see which decision Davis would take. Gruden and Davis met on Monday night and the expectation was that Gruden would be fired. Instead, Gruden decided to resign from his post. Either way, it felt like the writing was on the wall for him and there was simply no way he’d be coaching the team in Week 6 going up against the Broncos.
In Week 5, the Raiders hosted the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium, but the team had a day to forget, suffering a 20-9 loss. You could tell the players just weren’t themselves in this one. After the defeat, the media speculated that the guys in the locker room were distracted because of Gruden’s off-the-field drama. It’s hard to argue with that fact, as the Raiders couldn’t muster much offensively against the Bears.
Rich Bisaccia has stepped in as interim head coach of the Raiders
With Gruden now out, Rich Bisaccia has stepped in as interim head coach of the Raiders moving forward. Before Monday’s breaking news, Bisaccia served solely as the team’s special teams coordinator. Now, though, he’ll be tasked with trying to lift the squad’s spirits and get them focused on trying to close out the season on the right foot. The Raiders started 2021 winning three straight games, but they’ve since lost back-to-back contests.
With Bisaccia in charge, he’ll hope to lead Las Vegas to a win over Denver this weekend. Per the Las Vegas sportsbooks, the Raiders are underdogs for this one, as they’ve been given +154 NFL odds. Denver, led by Teddy Bridgewater, is the favorite and they’ll be ready to try and hand the Raiders their third consecutive defeat. Should that happen, the fanbase will surely be even more disappointed than they are now.
Gruden was beloved all over Sin City and Davis couldn’t have been happier with him as head coach. Things have been turned upside down over the last week, however. Gruden’s e-mails and the content inside of them is truly indefensible. It has cost him to lose millions of fans across the globe. On top of that, it has also cost him his job. The belief is that Gruden will never be the head coach of another football team ever again.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.