How Gruden's resignation ties to NFL's investigation of WFT


Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders Monday following a report from the New York Times regarding offensive emails he sent over a seven-year span ending in early 2018 using misogynistic and homophobic language. 

Just a few days prior to his resignation, the Wall Street Journal reported on a racist trope Gruden made about NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in an email sent in 2011. 

Gruden ended a four-year stint with the franchise beginning in 2018, where he signed a 10-year contract to return to the Raiders after serving as their head coach from 1998-2001 when the team was in Oakland. 

How this relates to the Washington Football Team

Gruden reportedly exchanged some of the emails in question with former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen. According to the New York Times' report, Gruden’s emails were discovered by the NFL as part of its investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team.

That investigation concluded over the summer of 2021, resulting in a $10 million fine for team owner Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya assuming all day-to-day responsibilities as the franchise's new co-CEO. 

Commissioner Roger Goodell instructed league executives to look at more than 650,000 emails during the past few months, including those in which Gruden made offensive remarks. When Goodell received a summary of the findings, he sent the Raiders Gruden's emails and then monitored how the team would handle the situation. 


How Bruce Allen knows Jon Gruden

Before a nine-year stint as an executive in Washington's front office, Allen worked alongside Gruden with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Allen was a senior executive with the Raiders from 1995 to 2003, while Gruden was the head coach from 1998-2001.

Gruden ultimately left the Raiders in 2002 to coach the Buccaneers, who two years later hired Allen as general manager. Both men left the Buccaneers in 2008, with Gruden moving to a broadcast role with ESPN. In 2010, Allen became Washington general manager and remained with the franchise until he was fired in 2019. 

Jon's brother Jay Gruden also served as Washington's head coach from 2014-19. 

What's next?

Gruden's emails are some of the only findings from the investigation into the Washington Football Team that have been made public since the process concluded over the summer. Investigator Beth Wilkinson provided an oral report of her findings to the NFL rather than providing a written report because the subject was deemed a sensitive matter. 

As of now, the NFL hasn't announced any plans to reveal more details about the Washington investigation. On Monday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera was asked about the situation on The Sports Junkies

"That's an unfortunate set of circumstances. It's something that I'm going to stay out of because it doesn't involve me personally. So I have no comment on that," Rivera said. "At the end of the day, that was well before my time here. OK, so you know, I've said this before, we're going forward. We're not going backward. I'm trying to do something here. We're trying to develop something to try to grow and change and make things better, so let's stick to what's important for us going forward."