Jon Gruden says emails are ‘disgraceful’, but I’m a ‘good person’, hopes to ‘get another shot’ – ESPN

Jon Gruden says emails are 'disgraceful', but I'm a 'good person', hopes to 'get another shot' - ESPN

Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden has, for the first time, publicly addressed the email controversy that cost him his job last October.

Gruden, who filed a lawsuit against the NFL last year claiming the league singled him out, spoke Tuesday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club in Arkansas.

Gruden, 59, said he would be “honest” with the meeting.

“I am ashamed of what happened in these emails, and I will not make excuses for it,” he said. “It’s shameful. But, I’m a good person. I believe that. I go to church. I’ve been married for 31 years. I have three great boys. I still love football. I’ve made some mistakes. But I don’t think anyone here didn’t. And I’m just asking for forgiveness and, hopefully, I get another shot.”

Gruden’s emails, which contained racist, anti-gay and misogynistic language, first appeared in a Wall Street Journal article on Oct. 8. He was on the Raiders’ sideline that weekend, and The New York Times published an article on October 11th. which contained additional emails. Gruden, who signed a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million to leave ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth and return to the Raiders in 2018, resigned that night.

The emails came to light in an NFL investigation into workplace conditions with the Washington franchise when Gruden was texting with then-Washington executive Bruce Allen.

The NFL, the lawsuit alleges, has been in possession of the emails since June 2021.

“Ask the NFL,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN at the time. “They have all the answers.”

Gruden’s lawsuit alleged “twisted interference” by the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, that they selectively leaked his emails to force his removal.

Of the 650,000 emails collected in the investigation, the lawsuit alleges, Gruden’s were the only ones released. They were also written when he was an ESPN employee.

On May 25, Nevada judge Nancy L. Allf ruled in favor of Gruden, opening the possibility of a jury trial, by denying the NFL’s motion to compel arbitration as well as the league’s motion to dismiss the case outright.

Speaking in Little Rock on Tuesday, Gruden became teary-eyed as the crowd applauded him.

“I get choked up, you know, because there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there right now,” he 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 need to get back to reality.”

After Gruden’s resignation, the Raiders, under interim coach Rich Bisaccia, went 7-5, winning their final four games to finish 10-7 and claim the team’s second playoff berth since 2002. But after losing a wild-card game at the final AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals, Davis replaced Bisaccia and general manager Mike Mayock with longtime New England Patriots staffers Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler, respectively.

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