Gruden stepped down as the Raiders’ head coach on Monday night following a New York Times report that the longtime coach made racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, among others.
Gruden sent emails to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen between 2010 and 2018. The NFL Network was the first to report the news of Gruden's resignation.
Gruden, who was in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, released a statement following the decision to resign.
"I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders," Gruden announced. "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."
Social media was flooded with reactions to the Gruden news. “If you're bothered that a misogynist homophobic racist like Gruden got held accountable, that's a you problem. Now do Dan Snyder,” wrote NFL’s Michael Kist.
According to The New York Times, Gruden referred to Goodell with an anti-gay slur and a "clueless anti-football p---y" in at least one email and argued that Goodell shouldn’t have allegedly pressured then-St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft "queers," in reference to former NFL defensive lineman Michael Sam who was the first openly gay player to be selected in the draft.
The email appeared to portray a complete disconnect from Gruden’s messaging when his own player Carl Nassib came out as gay before the start of the 2021 season and became the first active openly gay NFL player.
Gruden also reportedly made remarks about Smith, declaring, "Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires."
Gruden scrutinized the league for hiring female referees. In 2015, Sarah Thomas became the first permanent female official in league history. In 2017, The New York Times reported that Gruden replied to an allegedly sexist meme from Hooters co-founder Ed Droste about female NFL officials, exclaiming, "nice job roger."
The newspaper reported that Gruden suggested that former defensive back Eric Reid should have been fired for protesting during the national anthem. He also criticized a bill that would’ve forced the then-Washington Redskins to change their name in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner, and he went after former President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign in 2012, and then-vice president Joe Biden.