League likely would have kept leaking emails, until Jon Gruden was out

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Jon Gruden walked away on Monday night. There’s a good chance that, if he hadn’t, he would have been fired. There’s a better chance that this is exactly what the NFL wanted.

The obvious takeaway from Monday’s stunning leak of homophobic/transphobic/sexists emails following Friday’s stunning leak of one single racist email is that the NFL wanted Gruden out, and that the leaks were going to continue until he resigned or was fired.

The league wasn’t inclined to suspend Gruden. None of the emails released to date were sent when Gruden fell under the NFL’s jurisdiction. Even if he did (more on that below), there’s no specific provision of the Personal Conduct Policy that is directly violated by the contents of private communications.

Also, the league likely didn’t want to fight Gruden publicly over whether a suspension would have been appropriate. If Gruden had fought back, his lawyers would immediately have delved into the question of how, with more than 650,000 emails unearthed by the Washington Football Team investigation, only the emails Gruden sent to former Washington executive Bruce Allen have been released.

Then there’s the question of whether Gruden sent any inappropriate emails after he returned to the Raiders as head coach in early 2018. Allen remained with the Washington Football Team through the 2019 season. That’s two years of overlap. To date, the league has released no emails that Gruden sent to Allen in 2018 or 2019.

That could have been the next step, if Gruden hadn’t resigned tonight.

Then there’s this question — did Gruden ever make fun of Davis? It could be that those emails were being kept under wraps, with the not-so-subtle message to Davis being that, if Gruden stays, those emails will be leaked, too. And those emails, if they exist, surely would embarrass Davis.

If there are inappropriate emails sent by Gruden during his time as the Raiders coach, that would have made it easier to fire him for cause. With Gruden out and the incentive to keep leaking emails extinguished, we’ll likely never know.

Indeed, Gruden should demand that, in exchange for giving the league what it wants, the rest of the emails he sent will be treated like the rest of the 650,000 emails from the Washington investigation.

81 responses to “League likely would have kept leaking emails, until Jon Gruden was out

  1. I have zero sympathy for Gruden. He is the ONLY person in the Raiders organization who knew those emails existed… we hope. He knew when he interviewed for the gig. He knew when he signed that $10 million per year contract. And he has known every time that direct deposit hit his account.

  2. Someone who was upset that no action was taken on Gruden after the 1st email was released probably released the next batch. It could be the NFL, someone attempting to show the NFL’s hypocrisy or someone who just doesn’t like Jon Gruden. Sorry if that doesn’t narrow it down.

  3. There are certainly a lot of politics involved in this mess, but the upside for Raider fan is the knowledge we don’t have to suffer that buffoon for another 6+ years.

  4. The writing was on the wall when the first email came out. The league wanted the headache gone and Mark Davis was not paying the rest of that contract. The fact that he resigned so fast makes me think there’s a lot more out there that is much worse. And he’s not gonna get a cushy TV gig again after this mess.

  5. But the theory that the leaks started in order to get Gruden out begs the question- why have they been sitting on these emails for years?

  6. Geez what a mess.

    On one hand, he had to go after the emails leaked.

    On the other hand, selectively leaking decade old emails sent while he was not employed by the NFL or a franchise with little to no context?

    Neither are a good look.

  7. Corporate email for corporate topics only. Person opinions- send with and to personal emails. Otherwise you will get chuckied at some point

  8. Can you imagine what been said behind closed doors by NFL owners over the last 40 years years?

  9. Makes you wonder what they have that wasn’t leaked from/to others in WFT.
    Someone had it in for Chucky

  10. jimbo75025 says:
    October 11, 2021 at 9:42 pm
    Geez what a mess.

    On one hand, he had to go after the emails leaked.

    On the other hand, selectively leaking decade old emails sent while he was not employed by the NFL or a franchise with little to no context?

    Neither are a good look.

    ——————————————–

    This. **Something** prompted the the league to do this now, midseason 2021.

  11. Wayoutleftfield says:
    October 11, 2021 at 9:39 pm
    The NFL investigates Snyder and catches Gruden. You couldn’t make this stuff up! /////////////

    Hence the famous quote from Jed York: “You can’t fire owners”.

  12. Tom Flores. Art Shell. Amy Trask. Carl Nassib. Al davis wouldnt have stood for this. The raiders have always been a bastion for outcasts. Such is the raider way. you can like them as a team or not, fair enough. But you cannot deny their inclusiveness. This man is not a raider.

  13. I am all for redemption and second chances. The difference here is Gruden’s status and privilege. It’s also likely he never had a change of heart. Ten years ago was 2011, not the 1950s.

    Corporate America, even organizations owned by billionaires, are pushing back at bigotry.

  14. Who is “leaking” these emails? Is it one person or a posse? Have they gone rogue or is this a covert operation to clean house by the NFL? Whoever it is seems to have the access necessary to leak emails until a desired action has been taken. Who is their next target? With 650,000 emails discovered I can’t believe Gruden is the only one “they” are after.

  15. Why blame the NFL or people leaking the information? Gruden sent the emails – and not just one!

  16. Gruden worked for ESPN at the time. Were any of these emails sent on hardware provided by ESPN or using his ESPN email address? If so, where were they?

  17. Gruden may be scum, but I’m just as disappointed in the NFL. Surely there are a bunch of damaging emails involving Washington and it’s owner, but the emails of a person unrelated to that organization get leaked? Seems pretty damn self serving.

  18. The NFL leaks whatever they want to leak. The investigation was about the Washington Football team and the biggest casualty was Jon Gruden, who was not in the organization. Ouch.

    And people wonder why Brady didn’t give Goodell his phone.

  19. It’s pretty messed up that all the Washington investigation has turned up publicly is Jon Gruden emails. I’ll never understand the leagues logic in burying that whole thing.

  20. well guess capt/ blowhard tuff guy’s dirty lil secret finally got out huh wonder if he still gets his huge payday while doing the right thing via walking the plank ??

  21. Not only is Gruden done coaching, but he’s done with football. I can’t imagine any of the networks hire him as an NFL analyst either. Pretty sad way to have your entire football career come crashing down.

  22. First and foremost the things Gruden said, and apparently feels, are reprehensible and things like this need to be addressed. However, weaponizing the release is just as bad if not worse. There is zero doubt that these messages could damage more than just Gruden and not releasing them all makes this sleazy. Gruden’s racism needs to be addressed for the good of Gruden and the NFL. Whoever is releasing these emails isn’t trying to right wrongs but exert power over others via blackmail. All the messages should be released and let the chips fall where they may.

  23. This is the reason why I’m careful what I text or email. Why I don’t have Facebook Snapchat or Instagram. Say or Do something stupid later in life it will bite you in the ass.

  24. I am lost here. What is the big grudge that the NFL has against Gruden? He trashed Roger? Pretty sure you could find 50 other execs that have said worse. Maybe I am slow but I am not connecting the dots here

  25. Dont the Raiders have a cash problem? A big chunk of the front office resigned with no explanatiin this summer and i always thought it was due to Davis interference with sound business operations. Getting Gruden to resign, rather than fire him, removes his $10 M salary from the books. I bet the Raiders need that money.

  26. No way this is over. The League could have dealt with this in the off season. They choose not to get involved until now that it has become necessary maybe even convenient.

  27. Al Davis always felt like the league had it out for the Raiders. There were certainly sole tiles where he may of had a poijt… this feels like our. I mean an investigation in to the Washington football team work culture only reveled that Raiders coac Jon Gruden who wasn’t employed at the time in the NFL sent emails… something ain’t adding up here

  28. He had to go….he was wrong for saying those things. Just a reminder though for the people all appalled at his actions, you too have said something that would get you fired if made public. Guaranteed.

  29. This reminds me a bit like the Rachel Nichols situation. Private communications being made into a weapon. Gruden has only himself to blame, but something doesn’t feel right here.

  30. For all of you asking why Griden’s emails were leaked and none for the Washington Football Team – stay tuned. You typically don’t release information on the target of the investigation during the investigation. Trust me – its coming.

  31. commentsareforclosers says:
    October 11, 2021 at 9:31 pm
    I have zero sympathy for Gruden. He is the ONLY person in the Raiders organization who knew those emails existed… we hope. He knew when he interviewed for the gig. He knew when he signed that $10 million per year contract. And he has known every time that direct deposit hit his account.

    ————————————————
    Its pretty obvious the emails were known, and were just being held onto for a time they might be handy. Here is no defending Gruden. But those that would save the words until a time they can be used as tools to serve their own ends care even less for those issues than the guy who said the words. Know your enemy. Most folks think they do but don’t.

  32. Yep. Plainly orchestrated from the very top. Gruden is a terrible coach, but the NFL loved the guy until some doc review intern found an email where he made fun of Goodell. The rest of it was just means to an end at that point.

  33. Yea, Gruden is out but he’s laughing all the way to the bank. I’m sure he’s set for life

  34. I think Mark Davis had the emails leaked so that Gruden would be forced to resign and the Raiders could get out from under his albatross of a contract now that the move to Las Vegas is a success.

  35. Initially, I came down on the side of it being one comment, 10 years ago in a personal email, for which he had at least a plausible explanation (about liar’s lips being rubber). But he was sending multiple emails with much worse content to an NFL team executive while he was employed as a member of the media. He was associated with the NFL at the time, and obviously a public figure. I get that pro sports locker rooms are different from other workplaces in their vulgarity and lack of political correctness, but you put that stuff in an email? I wouldn’t even JOKE like that in ANY e-mail. I certainly wouldn’t be using even bad language to people in closely related professions outside of my own workplace.

    Ah, Chucky. You really are nuts.

  36. Release of emails — drip drip drip. Like water torture.

    Reveals Gruden to be quite the piece of work.

  37. No condoning Grudens emails/rhetoric.

    But I hope he sues the League or those newspapers for defamation/slander.

  38. I believe Gruden should be held accountable for the opinions expressed in his emails. I have no problem with that, and the NFL absolutely does not want this kind of thing hanging over them.

    The way this has happened is disturbing and feels vindictive. If we remember the Deflategate investigation that took forever, there were leaks out of the NFL front office all the time. If Gruden criticized Goodell in his emails it could be as simple as Goodell wanting to squash him because he can.

    And I agree with what many others have said – the WTF was investigated for a toxic work environment and NOTHING is released, but we eventually see Gruden targeted? I mean, I guess a giant, powerful corporation can do what it wants…?

    I’m sure there are plenty of emails that make Dan Snyder look bad, but the NFL would never release anything damaging to an owner.

  39. Can the League release Mike Browns emails, please? Dean Spanos?

    Why start with Gruden? Why not get rid of a REAL problem?!

  40. Holmgren’s frozen ‘stache says:
    October 12, 2021 at 9:03 am
    No condoning Grudens emails/rhetoric.

    But I hope he sues the League or those newspapers for defamation/slander.

    ===============

    Lol. You would be condoning Gruden’s behavior to think he has any sort of case here. Exactly how is Gruden’s name being slandered?

  41. Precedent has been set. Any time the league wants to get rid of someone they will just let a few of these emails trickle out.

  42. A good ol fashioned WITCH HUNT. Welcome to the future. We as Americans have empowered the wrong people who have their own agendas. Is what it is. Stupid stuff to say but in a private email we have all said things we did not want the world to see. When its your day itll happen to you too.

  43. This is purely speculative on my part, but could it be possible that Gruden was the one guilty party still in the league that participated in the questionable emails revealed in the WFT investigation that was still in the NFL. Is it possible that there were already overtures made to Gruden and Mark Davis to resolve this matter that were rejected? If such a situation existed, it gives Gruden’s, “I’m done apologizing” comment a different interpretation if someone in the NFL office had approached the Raiders prior to the emails being leaked.

  44. We all get that this was a professional hit; what I’m missing is the timing. Why now? They’ve had this for over a decade so why didn’t they drop it last year or last week or next Tuesday? What else is going on that drives the timing of the Gruden part? And I say part because other shoes are certain to drop.

  45. Welp, time for anyone to release emails, texts, audio recordings, videos, social media posts, etc, etc….

    ….of ANY player, coach, league exec, etc…get them all to resign/retire.

    every….single…..player….has said or done something that today’s cancel culture would erase…fairs fair.

    Get rid of em all. Then do the NBA, NHL, MLB, Mens/Womens soccer, etc. Cancel them all.

    Then cancel the cancelers – as all of them have crap thay have said/done in the past that goes against their idiocy today….

  46. Man do I miss Tagliabue. Goodell isn’t a commissioner. He’s a politician and a very sl3azy one at that.

  47. You would be condoning Gruden’s behavior to think he has any sort of case here.
    ==========

    The League has the right to dictate terms of employment, as any employer does. Fire him. With cause. No problem with that whatsoever.

    They have no business assassinating a mans character this way. Not over emails sent 7-10 years ago.

  48. So the NFL would have kept leaking these emails until Gruden quit? Sounds like blackmail to me. Didn’t know the NFL was in the blackmail business.

  49. “It could be the NFL, someone attempting to show the NFL’s hypocrisy or someone who just doesn’t like Jon Gruden.”
    ____________

    This is sound analysis but how wild is it that the NFL is so self-destructive you can’t be sure if it was them leaking or somebody who hates them? But that is always how Goodell has rolled. He’ll do basically anything to avoid taking preemptive action.

  50. Wayoutleftfield says:
    October 11, 2021 at 9:39 pm
    The NFL investigates Snyder and catches Gruden. You couldn’t make this stuff up! /////////////

    Hence the famous quote from Jed York: “You can’t fire owners

    So what about Eddie DeBartolo? Didn’t the league make him give up the 49ers? I guess you can fire owners.

  51. Tony Broome says:
    October 12, 2021 at 10:11 am
    So the NFL would have kept leaking these emails until Gruden quit? Sounds like blackmail to me. Didn’t know the NFL was in the blackmail business.

    Blackmail is an ugly word. The League prefers extortion.

  52. How soon till Gruden files a lawsuit for those emails not being secured properly and/or for his entire career to be ended by this.

    Your emails are the property of your employer and they have the right to look at them but they don’t have the right to leak them to destroy your career. In this case the investigators who were reviewing these emails would have been responsible to see they were properly secured.

    Someone is going to get sued for this before it’s over.

  53. eagleswin says:
    October 12, 2021 at 9:14 am
    Holmgren’s frozen ‘stache says:
    October 12, 2021 at 9:03 am
    No condoning Grudens emails/rhetoric.

    But I hope he sues the League or those newspapers for defamation/slander.

    ===============

    Lol. You would be condoning Gruden’s behavior to think he has any sort of case here. Exactly how is Gruden’s name being slandered?

    ===============================================

    I’m pretty sure you can’t release emails anonymously with the intent of destroying someone’s livelihood. In particular if you were purposely trying to get him to get fired or resign. That would be akin to extortion or creating a hostile work environment.

    I also doubt he was the only person to say something truly distasteful in an email that was reviewed so there would be the issue to why he was singled out.

    I don’t condone in any way what was said but it was said in private and how this was handled shouldn’t be allowed to happen again. I don’t think anyone wants your employer to have the option in the future to destroy your character in the media to get you force you to resign.

  54. If the league intentionally leaked Gruden’s emails from years ago, the league can’t claim the resulting uproar is the fault of Gruden. The league office shouldn’t even be telling teams to fire employees let alone forcing them to. Maybe Mark Davis is behind this to get out of Gruden’s contract but the timing would suggest not, given the Raiders are playing better this year than previously. This sure looks like someone on Park Avenue trying to force Gruden out. I’m not worried about JG, he wrote what he wrote, but something stinks at NFL HQ.

  55. tigerlilac says:
    October 11, 2021 at 10:01 pm
    I am all for redemption and second chances. The difference here is Gruden’s status and privilege. It’s also likely he never had a change of heart. Ten years ago was 2011, not the 1950s.

    Corporate America, even organizations owned by billionaires, are pushing back at bigotry.
    ===================================================================================
    I couldnt care less that Gruden is out of a job. Not my coach, I dont know him personally, it changes nothing for me. But every one has bias. Even you. It is remarkable how skin color impacts everything, even to those who pretend it doesnt. If we were talking about Tony Dungy, you would want him to get a second chance. Just like every black player who has run afoul of the law/rules. But when whitey is in line for that “redemption opportunity”, there are excuses out that wazoo for why that particular person isnt deserving of a second chance.

  56. Never thought I’d see the day when the Raiders became a bigger soap opera than the Cowboys.

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