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Jon Gruden 'Ashamed' of 'Shameful' Emails That Ended Raiders HC Stint

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2022

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In one of his first public comments since his ouster as Las Vegas Raiders coach, Jon Gruden called racist, anti-gay and misogynistic remarks he made in emails "shameful."

"I'm ashamed about what has come about in these emails, and I'll make no excuses for it. It's shameful," Gruden said at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. "But I am a good person. I believe that. I go to church. I've been married for 31 years. I've got three great boys. I still love football. I've made some mistakes, but I don't think anybody in here hasn't. I just ask for forgiveness, and hopefully I get another shot."

Steve Sullivan @sully7777

Jon Gruden at the Little Rock Touchdown club commenting on the emails that ended his NFL coaching career. <a href="https://t.co/1ClcWtdTRn">pic.twitter.com/1ClcWtdTRn</a>

Gruden resigned in disgrace as Raiders coach last October after emails written while he was an employee at ESPN from 2011 to 2018 were leaked to the media. The 59-year-old made anti-gay comments about former Los Angeles Rams defensive end Michael Sam and racist remarks directed at NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith, along with several other disparaging words aimed at figures across football and elsewhere—including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Gruden has since filed a lawsuit against Goodell and the NFL for allegedly leaking the emails. The Raiders and Gruden reached a financial settlement on the remainder of his contract in October. Gruden was owed at least $40 million in guaranteed money at the time of his resignation.

The former Monday Night Football commentator was also critical of ESPN, accusing the network of putting out false narratives for ratings.

"I get choked up because there's a lot of misunderstanding out there right now," Gruden said. "What you read, what you hear, what you watch on TV. Hell, I worked at ESPN for nine years—I worked hard at that job. I don't even want to watch the channel anymore because I don't believe everything is true. And I know a lot of it is just trying to get people to watch."

It's unclear if Gruden was referring to his situation in particular or making a general criticism of the world at large. However, it's clear he wants to find a way back into football.

These comments may be the first step in what Gruden hopes is an image-rehabilitation process.

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