Jon Gruden Breaks Silence on Email Controversy Which Resulted in His Resignation From Las Vegas Raiders

by Nick Geddes

Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has broken his silence on the emailgate which resulted in his resignation last October.

Jon Gruden spoke Tuesday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club in Arkansas and promised to be “honest” with the gathering. Gruden asked for forgiveness and said he hopes to get another shot in the NFL in the future.

“I’m ashamed about what has come about in these emails, and I’ll make no excuses for it,” Gruden said, via ESPN. “It’s shameful. But, I am a good person. I believe that. I go to church. I’ve been married for 31 years. I’ve got three great boys. I still love football. I’ve made some mistakes. But I don’t think anybody in here hasn’t. And I just ask for forgiveness and, hopefully, I get another shot.”

A teary-eyed Gruden continued as the crowd applauded him.

“I get choked up, you know, because there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there right now,” Gruden said. “What you read, what you hear, what you watch on TV. Hell, I worked at ESPN for nine years. I worked hard at that job. I don’t even want to watch the channel anymore because I don’t believe everything is true. And I know a lot of it is just trying to get people to watch. But I think we’ve got to get back to reality.”

Jon Gruden Uses Racist Trope in Describing NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith

Jon Gruden, 59, landed in hot water after emails he sent to former Washington Commanders general manager Bruce Allen in 2011 emerged. The emails, which first came to light in an Oct. 8 article by The Wall Street Journal, contained racist, misogynistic and anti-gay language. The New York Times published an additional article three days later that revealed more emails.

In one of the emails, Gruden used a racist trope to describe executive director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, who is Black.

Jon Gruden Suing NFL Over Email Leaks

Jon Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL last year. He alleges the NFL leaked the emails in an effort to harm his reputation and force him out of the league. The emails were discovered as part of the NFL’s investigation into workplace misconduct and the toxic culture of the Commanders’ franchise. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ordered league executives to view more than 650,000 emails. Only six, however, were made public — all sent by Jon Gruden. On May 25, Nevada Judge Nancy Allf ruled against the NFL’s motion to send the case to arbitration and dismiss the case outright.

Bob Lamonte, Gruden’s agent, said earlier this month that this was a “hit job” against Gruden. 

“This wasn’t good for anybody,” Lamonte said. “That’s why he ended up suing the NFL and Goodell — because everyone knows it was wrong. You have 650,000 emails and his six were picked out . . . and he wasn’t even in the league. He prevailed in court and he will prevail again.”