By Tyler Norris
The Las Vegas Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, stepped down on Monday, Oct. 11 after homophobic and misogynistic emails were leaked. In emails that were detailed by the New York Times, Gruden casually used homophobic and misogynistic language to belittle people. Gruden has been an extremely well-known coach around the league. Spanning over fifteen years, he spent time as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland, again. Upon winning the Super Bowl with the Buccaneers, Gruden was then the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl at age 39.
After his tenure with the NFL, Gruden stepped off the field, and into the booth as an analyst for Monday Night Football on ESPN from 2009 to 2017 before ultimately returning to the Raiders as head coach. In a statement issued by the Raiders’ Twitter page, Gruden said: “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, 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.”
Within his emails, Gruden denounced the emergence of women as referees, the drafting of an openly gay player and the NFL’s tolerance of players protesting the national anthem. Gruden’s emails were sent to former president of the Washington Football Team, Bruce Allen, in which he criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for such actions being tolerated. Gruden’s resignation comes during a time of change within the NFL, with the league heavily emphasizing the importance of stopping racial discrimination and equality.
In the wake of national events, players across the league have begun wearing social justice statements on the bumpers of their helmets. Examples of such include “Stop Hate” and “Black Lives Matter’.’ Players also were allowed to include the names of victims if they so choose. The exit of Jon Gruden from the NFL is a large step in the direction the NFL is wanting to go to become a leading advocate for social justice in the sports world.