Sports | August 31, 2022 11:48 am

“Shameful” Jon Gruden Is “Hopeful” for Another Shot in NFL That He Won’t Get

Gruden resigned from the Raiders last season after his racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails were revealed

Former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden on the sidelines in Las Vegas
Jon Gruden is hoping to return to the NFL. It's not gonna happen.
Ethan Miller/Getty

In the process of suing the National Football League following his resignation last season after emails containing racist, homophobic, misogynistic and otherwise offensive content he sent before being hired as the coach of the Raiders in 2018 were revealed by The New York Times, Jon Gruden is hoping for another shot at working in the NFL.

Despite calling himself a “good person” and admitting the emails he sent were “shameful” while speaking on Tuesday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club in Arkansas, Gruden’s second shot is not coming.

“I’m ashamed about what has come about in these emails, and I’ll make no excuses for it,” he said. “It’s shameful. 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. And I just ask for forgiveness, and hopefully, I get another shot.”

The 59-year-old can hope all he wants, but another chance in the NFL is not coming his way for multiple reasons, the first of which being that he is still in the process of suing the league. The second reason ties into the first as the legal process surrounding Gruden’s lawsuit has revealed he “consistently” sent the sort of emails that forced him to resign after he was hired by the Raiders in early 2019, not just before he got the gig. The third reason Gruden will not sniff another NFL locker room is that, at least by NFL standards, a lot has changed in the league since he was hired by the Raiders. Financially motivated or not, the NFL has embraced the Black Lives Matter movement and there are more Black quarterbacks in the NFL than ever before. Gruden (and his racism) is no longer a fit.

He probably knows it, which is why Gruden tiptoed around lashing out at “woke” culture while saying nothing “but honest things” to the Touchdown Club audience.

“I get choked up, you know, because there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there right now,” he 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. But I think we’ve got to get back to reality.”

He’s right, and the reality is that there’s no longer room in the NFL for a racist, homophobic, sexist narcissist — especially one that opted to go with Derek Carr over Tom Brady.