The damage to Jon Gruden’s legacy radiated beyond the loss of his job as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders and the widespread exposure of homophobic, misogynistic and racist comments. The revelation that Gruden disparaged people around the NFL tarnished long-standing relationships, quashed a sponsorship deal, and brought him into disrepute with the organization he awarded a Super Bowl title to.
Gruden has not spoken publicly since his statement announcing his resignation on Monday night, hours after The New York Times reported that NFL officials found out, as part of an investigation into workplace misconduct on the team. Washington football club that did not directly involve him, that he had casually and regularly disparaged people across the league in sectarian terms. The report came three days after the Wall Street Journal first reported that Gruden sent a message in which he disparaged DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, who is black, with a racist trope.
The NFLPA and the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which is dedicated to improving diversity in the NFL, condemned Gruden’s comments, unlike the Raiders, who in their statement Monday night simply said owner Mark Davis had accepted his resignation. General manager Mike Mayock told reporters on Wednesday that Davis’ late father, Al Davis, had repeatedly employed the league’s top-ranked woman, Amy Trask; the first African-American trainer of the modern era, Art Shell; and one of the league’s first Hispanic coaches, Tom Flores.
Mark Davis told ESPN on Wednesday that he had no comment on Gruden’s departure. Then, perhaps suggesting his annoyance that those previously confidential emails cost him his coach, Davis said, “Ask the NFL, they have all the answers.”
The league said last week it was sharing emails with the Raiders in which Gruden made derogatory remarks. As the Raiders tried to regroup behind interim coach Rich Bisaccia, Gruden’s former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, removed their name from their Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium. They probably had no choice after a 2015 email revealed that Gruden – who coached the team for seven years, winning a Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season – insulted Bryan Glazer, a descendant of the family owning the team, with a rude request.
Under the direction of their current coach, Bruce Arians, the Buccaneers have made diversifying their staff a priority. They became the first team to install black coaches in all three coordinator positions, and they were also the first to have two women – assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and strength and conditioning coach Maral. Javadifar – in full-time roles.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for resolute change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team said in a statement. “While we recognize Jon Gruden’s contributions on the ground, his actions run counter to our core values as an organization. “
Gruden exchanged these emails with Bruce Allen, former president of the Washington soccer team, and others, while he was an ESPN commentator ahead of his second stint as the Raiders coach started in 2018. They only represent a slice of about 650,000 messages reviewed. by the NFL in a Washington workplace culture investigation that ended this summer. The league, finding the environment “highly unprofessional” and perpetuating bullying and intimidation, fined Washington $ 10 million.
No official account of the investigation was published at the time, only a brief summary. Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys who represented 40 former team employees, denounced the move at the time, saying the league was protecting team owner Daniel Snyder by keeping the findings private. Banks and Katz renewed their efforts on Tuesday after Gruden resigned.
“It is truly scandalous that after the 10-month NFL investigation involving hundreds of witnesses and 650,000 documents related to the long-standing culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington football team, the only no one to be held responsible and lose their job is the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, ”they said in a statement. “Our customers and the general public deserve transparency and accountability. Otherwise, the NFL and Roger Goodell have to explain why they appear determined to protect the Washington football team and its owner, Dan Snyder, at all costs.
Gruden also lost his sponsorship contract with footwear and clothing company Skechers, which in a statement cited a zero-tolerance policy for behavior that goes against his belief in “equality, the promotion of tolerance and understanding for all “.
He may also have lost the respect of one of his former players, Carl Nassib, who is the first active NFL player to publicly declare he is gay.
Gruden, in an email, used a derogatory term when he wrote that Commissioner Roger Goodell should not have pressured the Rams to recruit gay players. Gruden was referring to Michael Sam, a gay player kidnapped in 2014. When Nassib came out in June, Gruden praised his decision. Nassib has not publicly commented on Gruden’s emails, but when the Raiders gathered for training on Wednesday, Nassib was not there.
“He asked for a personal day today”, Mayock told reporters. “He just said he has a lot to deal with, that a lot has happened in the last few days, and of course we support this request.”