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Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders coach after reports of derogatory language in emails

Updated October 11, 2021 at 10:54 PM ET

Jon Gruden, the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, has resigned following news reports that he used derogatory language in emails dating back to 2011.

"I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders," Gruden said in a statement. "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."

Among the targets for Gruden's insults were DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and then-Vice President Joe Biden.

The emails emerged from an investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Club. The offensive terms were used in emails sent from Gruden to former Washington team president Bruce Allen and others. Allen was fired in 2019.

Gruden sent the emails between 2011 and 2018, while he was a color analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football. Before joining ESPN, Gruden coached the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The existence of racially disparaging emails were first reported on Friday by The Wall Street Journal. On Monday evening, The New York Times reported on emails that included homophobic and misogynistic comments.

Gruden, 58, signed a 10-year, $100 million deal with the Raiders in 2018. By Monday evening, the Raiders had already removed Gruden's profile from the team's website.

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Corrected: October 11, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
An earlier version of this article stated that Gruden used offensive language in emails dating to 2010. A report by The New York Times in fact says the offensive emails were sent between 2011 and 2018.
Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.