Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned Monday following the disclosure that he had sent anti-LGBTQ+ and racist emails to colleagues across the National Football League.
As the Raiders coach, Gruden saw sports history made when defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active player to come out as gay.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement, reports USA Today. “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.”
The emails were revealed in an NFL investigation into the Washington Football Team on an unrelated matter. The messages were first reported by The New York Times. They were sent from 2011 to 2018.
In one email, Gruden refers to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a “faggot” and a “clueless anti-football p****.” He also referred to out player Michael Sam as a “queer.” In another instance, Gruden mocked Caitlyn Jenner for her transition.
In its article, The New York Times wrote the emails “provide an unvarnished look into the clubby culture of one NFL circle of peers, where white male decision makers felt comfortable sharing pornographic images, deriding the league policies, and jocularly sharing homophobic language.”
Gruden repeatedly used such language to describe Goodell and NFL owners, coaches, and journalists.
NFL Commissioner Goodell’s younger brother is gay. When they were younger, Goodell would protect his brother from bullies, according to OutSports.
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist troupe to refer to NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.
As a league, the NFL has come out to support LGBTQ+ people in recent years. Gruden even supported Nassib when he came out earlier this year.
“I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great,” Gruden said.
Rich Bisaccia has been named interim head coach of the Raiders.