Jon Gruden Is the Scapegoat. But What Else Is the NFL Hiding?
5 min read
Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders after hateful emails were leaked from a league investigation involving 650,000 emails. Now, the league must release the rest.
Following his resignation as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden—who sent a number of racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic email messages to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen's professional email—explained that he did so in order to not be a distraction to his team.

"Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone," his press release read.

There's some truth there. In the 2011 emails, first reported on by The New York Times and uncovered during an ongoing investigation of workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team, Gruden believed he was in a safe space where bigotry would not only be permitted but celebrated. The affable tone of the emails, which included racist comments against NFL Players Association leader DeMaurice Smith ("Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires"), calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a "f----t" (Goodell has spoken publicly about defending his gay brother from bullies), and sending topless photos of cheerleaders to Allen and other men suggests that all this was standard behavior for him and their recipients. He surely didn't mean harm because those involved wouldn't be offended by the comments at all.

Gruden's fall is more a distraction for the public than anything else. While he may have lost the support of the team—which includes the NFL's first gay active player, Carl Nassib, and a number of Black players—his immediate removal also suggests that the evidence discovered in the investigation may be too damning for the NFL to fully disclose it to the public. Instead, Gruden stepped down, saving the league from scrutinizing a reputation built on decades of contradictions in regards to race, sex, and gender discrimination. It's fair to assume that when it comes to the 650,000 emails reviewed by the league in connection with their investigation, what isn't being shared would indict far more people than…
Tirhakah Love
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