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Monday, October 18, 2021

Source: Gruden out as Raiders head coach

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9:14 PM ET

  • gutierrez paul

    Paul GutierrezESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered Oakland Raiders for CSNBayArea.com and Sacramento Bee for eight years
    • Member of Pro Football Writers Association
    • Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated

Jon Gruden is out as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ head coach, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

Raiders owner Mark Davis arrived at the team’s facility earlier Monday evening and went to find Gruden, a source told Schefter. The two men met, and Gruden no longer will be the Raiders’ head coach, the source said.

The news comes in the wake of a New York Times report that Gruden used misogynistic and anti-gay language in numerous emails during a seven-year period.

The NFL sent the Raiders additional Gruden emails to review, on top of the one about NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith that surfaced last week, and others Gruden recently confirmed to ESPN, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

According to The Times, Gruden sent emails to Bruce Allen, then the president of the Washington Football Team, and others during a seven-year period that ended in 2018.

Gruden emailed Allen that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should not have pressured then-Rams coach Jeff Fisher to draft “queers,” referring to former defensive end Michael Sam, a gay player drafted in 2014, according to The Times. The Times also reported that Gruden used an anti-gay slur in several instances while referring to Goodell, and used offensive language to describe some owners, coaches and media members who cover the league.

The emails also included harsh language for a handful of team owners involved in the 2011 labor disagreement that led to a lockout at the time. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Gruden, in an email to then- Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, a close friend, said Smith had “lips the size of michellin tires,” with the newspaper saying it had reviewed the email in question.

Gruden told ESPN that he routinely used the term “rubber lips” to “refer to a guy I catch as lying … he can’t spit it out.”

“I’m ashamed I insulted De Smith. I never had a racial thought when I used it,” Gruden told ESPN. “I’m embarrassed by what’s out there. I certainly never meant for it to sound that bad.”

The emails came to light during the NFL’s investigation into workplace misconduct with Washington, as “the league was informed of the existence of emails that raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation,” according to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy. Senior league executives reviewed the content of more than 650,000 emails, including the one the Journal reported was written by Gruden to Allen. The NFL sent pertinent emails to the Raiders for review.

Gruden, 58, was an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at the time of the emails and returned to the sidelines in 2018 when Raiders owner Mark Davis lured him back with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million.

The Raiders, off to a 3-1 start before hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday, have gone 22-30 under Gruden this time around after he initially coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and beat his former team in Super Bowl XXXVII. The Raiders have had one winning season and playoff appearance since, in 2016.

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