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Jon Gruden's Agent Says Leak of Ex-Raiders HC's Racist, Sexist Emails Was 'Hit Job'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2022

Jon Gruden (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Bob LaMonte, the agent of former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, said Saturday the leak of his client's racist, misogynistic and anti-gay emails was a "hit job."

LaMonte said the 58-year-old Gruden was in a "state of shock" after his resignation from the Raiders after information about the emails was released, per Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.

"And it was 10 years ago. And then why Jon and why the Raiders? He wasn't even in the league at the time of those e-mails ... that's the tragedy of it," LaMonte said. "You can say what you want, but if anyone really understands Jon, they know he's not a racist. That's quite obvious. No one would ever say that."

Gruden resigned as the Raiders' head coach in October after the New York Times published multiple emails from Gruden that included derogatory remarks directed toward NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and defensive end Michael Sam, the league's first openly gay player.

The emails, which were sent between 2011 and 2018, were unearthed as part of the NFL's investigation into the Washington Commanders' workplace culture because they were sent to Bruce Allen, who was a member of the team's front office at the time.

No other emails found in the investigation have been publicly released.

Gruden worked on ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast team from 2009 until his return to coaching with the Raiders in 2018. Prior to his broadcasting career, he was head coach of the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he won the Super Bowl XXXVII title at the end of the 2002 season.

Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL and Goodell in November, alleging the leak of the emails was an orchestrated attempt to "destroy [his] career and reputation."

In May, a Nevada judge denied a motion by the NFL to dismiss the case.

"This wasn't good for anybody," LaMonte told Kaufman. "That's why he ended up suing the NFL and Goodell—because everyone knows it was wrong. You have 650,000 e-mails and his six were picked out ... and he wasn't even in the league. He prevailed in court and he will prevail again."

Lamonte predicted a trial would be "devastating" to the league and said he expects Gruden will eventually return to the sideline.

"I really believe in my heart and soul he will coach again," LaMonte said. "I'd be very surprised if he didn't. My question is what did Jon really do? Most people wouldn't want their private emails from 10 days ago looked at."

He added: "I can tell you right now that was a hit job."

Gruden's first head coaching job came with the Raiders while the franchise was located in Oakland, a tenure that lasted from 1998 through 2001. He'd spent the previous two decades as an assistant at the college and pro levels.

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