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Former NFL coach Gruden could lose millions for leaving Raiders earlier than expected

NFL Coach Jon Gruden’s sudden departure from the Las Vegas Raiders after email scandal means he could lose millions of dollars in salary that was originally promised when he signed a 10-year, $ 100 million contract in 2018, experts said sportsmen.

Gruden resigned from the team on Monday after emails surfaced from 2011 where he used racist comments to describe a leader of a players’ union. The New York Times reported that Gruden, 58, used homophobic and misogynistic terms years ago in another batch of emails from 2011 to 2018. The NFL shared copies of Gruden’s emails internally during an ongoing investigation into workplace misconduct, the Times reported.

Because Gruden resigned, instead of being fired, he will likely receive an unknown percentage of his remaining salary, said Derek Potts, a sports contracts attorney in Houston. Then again, Gruden could get his entire remaining salary, Potts predicted.

“I think that’s probably what will happen,” said Potts. “In this case, we have emails that weren’t even sent while he was a coach under his current contract. They are from 10 years ago. It’s quite different from s ‘he was sending emails while under contract as coach of the Raiders. “

Gruden is a former ESPN football analyst who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2003. In NFL circles, Gruden is considered one of the best coaches to ever walk the field. His contract with the Raiders was the biggest NFL coaching contract in league history. Gruden was so well regarded that he presumably had a contract where he could be paid something even if he left the Raiders early, Potts said.

Gruden finished three seasons with the Raiders and was entering his fourth year on Thursday, which meant he had at least $ 60 million left to pay, Sporting News reported.

“I would be shocked if he took away 100 percent of his remaining pay,” Potts told CBS MoneyWatch, adding that he was not sure what percentage Gruden could possibly keep.

The public will likely never see the provision of Gruden’s contract that governs his exit terms, Potts said, so there’s no way of knowing exactly how much Gruden is pocketing as he walks out of the stadium gates. The Raiders did not respond to CBS MoneyWatch’s requests for comment on Gruden’s salary.

Entangling the facilitators

Gruden’s exit payment may be a mystery, but what is clear is that the bad publicity of the emails could also engulf senior executives at well-known companies across the country.

Gruden sent the offensive emails to Hooters co-founder Ed Droste, Outback Bowl president Jim McVay, PDQ Restaurants founder Nick Reader and former director of the football team at Washington, Bruce Allen and others., reported the Times. In an email, Gruden made derogatory remarks about DeMaurice Smith, who is black and leader of the NFL players union. Gruden wrote that Smith “has lips the size of michellin tires,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Gruden then apologized to Smith earlier this month.

Allen, Droste, McVay and Reader served as catalysts for Gruden’s racist comments and there are probably many more like him, William Rhoden, editor of sports news site The Undefeated, Recount CBS Mornings. Rhoden said the NFL workplace investigation should go beyond Gruden’s emails.

“As they go through these emails, they should look at who he wrote them to and what their reaction was,” Rhoden said. “A lot of these people are executives who probably hold senior positions in different industries. They are the ones who determine who gets hired. [and] who is promoted. “

Union leader Smith also hinted at what should be done to the people who received the emails from Gruden. In a tweet, Smith said he appreciated Gruden’s apology.

“But make no mistake, the news is not about what is said in our private conversation, but what else is said by people who never thought they would be exposed and how they will be required to. be accountable, ”Smith tweeted.

Hooters, the Outback Bowl, PDQ and Allen did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday by CBS MoneyWatch.

A racial calculation

Gruden’s emails come at a particularly delicate time for the NFL, as the league tries to do its part to tackle racial inequalities on and off the field. Last year, the NFL committed $ 250 million over 10 years to tackle systemic racism with grants to organizations that fight for social justice. League officials also admitted last year that they had not done enough to encourage players to speak out against racial injustice.

The NFL and its teams have been accused of racist practices in the past, particularly in the way they handled concussion protocol payments to former players and the ouster of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick after s’ be kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. The Washington, DC, team removed “Redskins” from its name after years of using the nickname which is a racial insult to Indigenous people.

The 32 NFL team owners must lead the way in dispelling the cloud of racism hanging over the league because they have the real power and the real influence, NFL Today host James Brown told CBSN .

“Owners, this is where the change needs to start,” said Brown. “They have to be people of character and integrity and watch and see what a champion really is – not just the W’s and the L’s on the football field, but in terms of the game of life.”

Gruden’s emails combined with what happened to Kaepernick suggest the NFL has a bigger problem than racist coaches alone, Rhoden told CBS Mornings.

“Don’t think for a minute that Gruden is the only one thinking like this,” he said.