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#pounditThursday, December 2, 2021

Jon Gruden shares first message since his scandal

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Jon Gruden issued an apology when he stepped down as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders last week, but that does not mean he is willing to accept the way his character has been attacked.

Gruden resigned after private emails leaked in which he used a gay slur and other offensive language. He has not said anything publicly since releasing a statement announcing his resignation, but he did indicate that he will push back.

Andre Kremer recently profiled Raiders owner Mark Davis for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” In the latest episode of the “Real Sports Podcast,” Kremer revealed that a producer of the HBO show recently spoke with Gruden. The 58-year-old hinted that he is not just going to disappear and hope his reputation is one day restored.

“Maggie Burbank, who produced the story that we just did on Mark Davis, she actually called Gruden and he picked up the phone, much to I think her surprise,” Kremer said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “And he’s still in Las Vegas. … He says he’s letting the dust settle. He said, ‘People who know me know what I stand for for 58 years. I have a resume of 58 years.’ He said, ‘The truth will come out.’ It’s certainly cryptic.”

There are many people who will never forgive Gruden for some of the things he said. However, there is certainly a case to be made that the former coach was railroaded by the NFL. The league’s investigators collected more than 650,000 emails as part of their investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team. That’s where Gruden’s emails, which were exchanged between him and former Washington executive Bruce Allen, were discovered. Yet, somehow, the NFL says the Gruden emails were the only damaging ones.

None of that excuses what Gruden said, but it’s possible he could sue the NFL with the help of the Raiders. Davis has already made it clear he is unhappy with the league. While Gruden may not be able to clear his name, it would not be a surprise if he is motivated to get back at the NFL.

Photo: Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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