King: 'Several Smart People' in NFL Think Dan Snyder's Camp Leaked Jon Gruden Emails

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 18, 2021

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned last Monday after emails featuring racist, anti-gay and misogynistic language were leaked to the public. Those messages were among the 650,000 emails that were part of the NFL's investigation into sexual harassment and verbal abuse allegations within the Washington Football Team organization.

The Gruden emails could have purposefully been leaked to the public, per Peter King of NBC Sports' conversations with "several smart people in the league." He wrote the following in his latest Football Morning in America piece Monday:

"I don't know where the emails came from. Several smart people in the league think the leaks come from the Snyder camp. Maybe he feels steamrolled by the league in its July penalty, though it was certainly exactly the opposite. Maybe (probably) he's so anti-Allen that he'd have a jihad out for him and anyone close to him, which Gruden is."

Gruden sent emails to ex-Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, hence their inclusion in the NFL's investigation.

The messages were sent between 2011-2018, when Gruden worked as an NFL analyst for ESPN before the Raiders signed him to a 10-year, $100 million contract in 2018.

Gruden has never worked for the Washington Football Team. His NFL coaching career included stints as an assistant with the Green Bay Packers and an offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1990s before working as the head coach for the Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-2008).

The 58-year-old worked for ESPN from 2009-2018 as an NFL analyst before rejoining the Silver and Black in 2018.

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Gruden's younger brother, Jay, was Washington's head coach from 2014-2019 before being fired after an 0-5 start in his final year.

Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 8 that Gruden used a racial trope to describe NFLPA DeMaurice Smith. That led to a public apology from Gruden, who soon coached his team in a 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears on Oct. 10.

However, Ken Belson and Katherine Rosman of the New York Times then revealed a host of emails containing offensive language last Monday, and Gruden resigned later that evening.

The rest of the 650,000 emails have not been released, and the NFLPA has called for that to happen.

"We have had communications with the league, and the NFLPA plans to request that the NFL release the rest of the emails," Smith told USA Today's Mike Jones last Tuesday.

As far as the investigation goes, the NFL fined the Washington Football Team $10 million amid other mandates, per ESPN. Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represented 40 ex-employees, said the league's punishment was a "slap in the face" and amounted to "pocket change."


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