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#pounditMonday, January 24, 2022

Articles tagged: Jon Gruden

Mark Davis considering legal action against NFL over email leaks?

Mark Davis

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis seems to believe the NFL is out to get him and his organization. He may even be intent on proving it in court.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Davis is furious about the nature of how former coach Jon Gruden’s offensive emails went public. Davis is angry that his coach has become the face of a scandal that involved another organization, in this case the Washington Football Team. He is also upset with the fact that no Washington team employees lost their jobs over the scandal, while he had to part ways with Gruden.

Davis has reportedly told people close to him that he believes certain figures within the league office sought to force Gruden out by leaking the contents of his emails to news organizations. The Raiders owner hinted at that belief in public comments made earlier in the week. Davis is even considering his legal options against the league, though it’s not clear if that would lead anywhere.

Davis has the look of a very paranoid man right now. Whether the NFL had a role in this or not, Gruden had every reason to go in light of the contents of his emails. Davis isn’t going to look good fighting that.

Jon Gruden’s email comment about Colin Kaepernick draws attention

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Jon Gruden was forced to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders this week after numerous offensive remarks he made in private emails were leaked to the media. A strong opinion Gruden expressed about Colin Kaepernick has also drawn attention.

The topic of Kaepernick’s national anthem protest came up in the emails Gruden exchanged with former Washington team executive Bruce Allen. Both expressed anger over Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem to call attention to police brutality. In an email that was sent on Aug. 28, 2016, Gruden said Kaepernick should be cut.

“They suspend people for taking amino acids they should cut this f—,” Gruden wrote to Allen, via Henry Bushnell and Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports.

Allen responded that he had already “expressed my OUTRAGE” over the Kaepernick protests. Gruden then sent back, “Good for you.”

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2016 season and has not played since. Most people believe that the protests played a role in him not finding another job in the NFL, though his overall on-field performance was mediocre at best.

Kaepernick reached a confidential settlement with the NFL in 2019 after accusing the league of collusion in a lawsuit.

You can read more about the Gruden email leaks here.

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

Report: NFL claims Jon Gruden’s emails were only damaging ones

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

The NFL has reportedly found no other emails similar to those sent by Jon Gruden as part of the data collected in a workplace investigation into the Washington Football Team.

Barry Wilner of the Associated Press cited an AP source familiar with the investigation and the emails as saying that no other current league or team personnel used racist, homophobic, or misogynistic language similar to what Gruden used. The source added that the league did not find any problems “anywhere near what you saw with Jon Gruden,” though did not elaborate on whether there may have been other issues.

The league’s independent investigators collected roughly 650,000 emails as part of a sexual harassment and workplace investigation into Washington. Emails sent by Gruden, then a commentator for ESPN, were part of that collection, and the contents of them led to Gruden’s resignation this week.

Some had believed Gruden’s emails were only the tip of the iceberg, and the collection could include other notable figures making controversial or inappropriate comments. This assurance is unlikely to satisfy those who have been pressuring the NFL to release the full contents of the emails. So far, the league has maintained it will not do so.

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

Derek Carr offers thoughts on Jon Gruden resignation

Derek Carr with a helmet on

Derek Carr shared his thoughts Wednesday on Jon Gruden’s resignation after offensive emails the head coach sent became public.

The Las Vegas Raiders had a day off Tuesday, the day after Gruden resigned following a meeting with team owner Mark Davis. They returned on Wednesday to practice at their facility, which is the first time many members of the team spoke with the media.

Carr, who has been the Raiders’ quarterback since 2014, summed up his thoughts with one quote: “I love the man, I hate the sin.”

Carr added more.

“I don’t condone, I don’t talk that way. My kid’s won’t talk that way…it’s hard, because I love the man so much,” Carr said of Gruden.

He also acknowledged that opening up peoples’ private emails and text messages would make many people uncomfortable.

“No one’s perfect, if we just started opening up everyone’s private emails and texts people would start sweating … Hopefully not too many, but maybe that’s what they should do for all coaches and GMs and owners from now and see what happens,” Carr said.

Carr said he wasn’t going to drift too far into his emotions because he needs to focus on getting his job done as the team’s quarterback.

Carr was a Pro Bowler from 2015-2017 and has been working with Gruden the last four seasons. There were rumors early on that Gruden might want to part ways with Carr, but the team’s feelings on the quarterback seemed to have changed this year.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Look: Jon Gruden’s parking spot at Raiders’ facility is empty

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Jon Gruden once had the No. 1 parking spot at the Las Vegas Raiders’ facility. He was the head coach of the team, the final decision maker on personnel, and leader of the franchise. And now not only is he gone, but he is quite likely done with the NFL forever after offensive personal emails he sent were leaked and became public on Monday.

Not seeing Gruden on the sidelines coaching the Raiders will let it sink in that Chucky is no longer with the team. But something else conveyed the absence and abruptness of Gruden’s resignation.

Gruden’s parking spot at the team’s facility was vacant on Wednesday.

The Raiders had a scheduled day off on Tuesday.

Gruden, 58, was in the fourth year of his second stint as head coach of the Raiders. He coached them for their final two seasons in Oakland and was in the middle of their second season in Las Vegas when he resigned.

Now it’s up to the Raiders to rally under interim coach Rich Bisaccia. They are 3-2 this season following the Week 5 loss to the Chicago Bears.

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

Jeff Fisher issues response to Jon Gruden’s Michael Sam email

Jeff Fisher on sidelines

Jeff Fisher on Tuesday issued a response on social media to an accusation made in one of the leaked Jon Gruden emails.

Gruden resigned on Monday as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after numerous offensive emails he wrote from his personal account were leaked to the media and became public. One of the offensive emails Gruden wrote to his friend and former coworker, Bruce Allen, on Allen’s work email address, was about Fisher and the Rams.

According to emails leaked to the New York Times, Gruden wrote to Allen that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the coach of the Rams, to draft ‘queers,’ a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player chosen by the team in 2014.”

Fisher was the head coach of the Rams when Sam was drafted with the No. 249 pick in the 2014 draft. Sam, who was openly gay at the time, played college ball at Missouri, and was a “hometown pick” for the then-St. Louis Rams.

Fisher said in a statement that Sam was drafted based on his credentials as a football player.

“Michael Sam was the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, and we selected him in the 2014 NFL Draft based on his defensive production and pass rushing skill set on the field,” Fisher wrote.

“As a head coach for over 20 years, we drafted or didn’t draft, players based on a variety of qualities. Their sexual orientation would never – and should never – play a part in the decision-making process.

“I continue to support Michael, and his decision to come out as the first daft eligible openly gay player in the league. It took courage to serve as a role model for those competitive football players who may also happen to be gay.

“Lastly, the NFL never encouraged or discouraged me regarding the selection of a potential prospect.”

Sam was cut by the Rams in training camp. Despite being added to other practice squads, he never played in an NFL game.

A 2016 report said the Rams were asked to draft Sam as part of an agreement with the league.

On Monday, Sam shared his first tweet following the Gruden email.

How and why the Jon Gruden emails leaked: A timeline and theories

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Jon Gruden resigned on Monday night from his position as head football coach of the Las Vegas Raiders following a meeting with team owner Mark Davis. The 58-year-old coach resigned after numerous offensive emails he sent from a personal email account from 2011-2018 were made public.

Gruden had six more years left on his $100 million contract at the time of his resignation. He has already been removed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor.

We will examine the timeline of how this took place and possible theories explaining the leaks that made his private emails public.

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Jon Gruden removed from Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor

Jon Gruden smiles

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Tuesday that they are removing Jon Gruden from their Ring of Honor following the negative publicity from his email leaks.

Gruden resigned on Monday night from his position as head coach of the Raiders after numerous offensive emails he sent from 2011-2018 leaked.

The Bucs said in a statement:

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years. While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”

It’s hard to view this statement as anything more than opportune public relations piling on, coupled with revenge. If the Buccaneers cared that much about gender equality and race relations, would they keep Antonio Brown on their roster given his history of sexual misconduct allegations, legal issues, and racial name-calling?

And if the Buccaneers are so committed to these values and really want to take a stand, why aren’t they giving back the Super Bowl they won under Gruden?

If you’re wondering why the Bucs acted so quickly to remove Gruden from their Ring of Honor, look no further than the leaked emails.

According to The New York Times, Gruden took aim at Bryan Glazer, whose family owns the Bucs, in one of his email exchanges.

“Gruden crudely asked Allen to tell Bryan Glazer, whose family owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where Gruden coached until 2008, to perform oral sex on him. Allen said Glazer would ‘take you up on that offer.'”

There you go. You say that about a team owner and you’re not going to remain in good standing with the team much longer. Not only did Gruden say numerous offensive things in his emails, but he had a wide range of targets, including a high-level person with the Bucs — one of their co-owners.

Photo: Aug 18, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden during a joint practice against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL under pressure to release emails from Washington investigation

Roger Goodell

The NFL is facing increasing pressure to release emails collected in the investigation into the Washington Football Team after this week’s revelations about Jon Gruden.

Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders late Monday after damaging emails were leaked to the New York Times. Those emails were exchanged with former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, and the league obtained them through its investigation into Washington’s workplace environment.

The NFL released little material from that investigation at its conclusion. Washington owner Dan Snyder was fined $10 million, but specific findings were not released due to what the league called privacy and sensitivity concerns. In light of the Gruden revelations, however, the NFLPA is now pressuring the league to release the rest of the emails it obtained through the Washington investigation.

“We have had communications with the league, and the NFLPA plans to request that the NFL release the rest of the emails,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Mike Jones of USA Today. Smith, incidentally, was the subject of a racist trope used by Gruden in a 2011 email, which ultimately sparked further scrutiny.

The NFL said through a spokesperson that the league has no plans to release the emails, stating that confidentiality was a key element of the Washington investigation. It is not known if an official request from the NFLPA would change that.

To be clear, it isn’t known what the Washington emails contain, who would be damaged by what is in them, and whether there are damaging revelations within them or not. Rightly or wrongly, the NFL’s decision to keep much of that investigation private has left the door open to questions and speculation. That will only continue to grow in light of what came out about Gruden.

Michael Sam sends first tweet since inclusion in Jon Gruden email

Michael Sam smiles

Michael Sam on Monday night sent his first tweet since being included in Jon Gruden’s offensive emails.

Personal emails Gruden sent to then-Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen were uncovered as part of the NFL’s investigation into the franchise’s workplace. One email comment Gruden made about DeMaurice Smith leaked on Friday. Then on Monday, more emails leaked that led Gruden to resign from his position as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

One of Gruden’s offensive emails reportedly said that the coach was annoyed the NFL forced the Rams to draft “queers,” which is a reference to the team taking Michael Sam with a 7th-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Right after the New York Times’ story containing Gruden’s leaked emails was published, someone tweeted Sam to thank him for being a role model.

Sam wrote back with an emoji showing gratitude.

It seems like Sam is taking the high road for now and recognizing that he served as a role model and inspiration for some.

Sam ended up being cut by the Rams and never played in an NFL game. But him being openly gay helped pave the way for current Raiders DL Carl Nassib to eventually come out publicly over the offseason.

Now 31, Sam, a former SEC Defensive Player of the Year, ended his football career in 2015. A report published in 2016 offered an explanation for why the Rams drafted Sam.

Photo: Feb 28, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Michael Sam sits courtside to watch the Dallas Mavericks play against the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports