Jon Gruden resigned as Raiders coach Monday after reports that an NFL investigation uncovered emails from him to a former team executive that showed Gruden, while an ESPN employee, using racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic language.
According to a report Friday by The Associated Press, no other active team or league personnel were found to have used language like Gruden’s in the approximately 650,000 emails that were reviewed as part of the investigation, and that no one else needed to be referred to team or league leadership.
Independent investigators obtained the emails as they looked into allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct within the Washington Football Team. The league has not released the emails.
“The NFL did not identify any problems anywhere near what you saw with Jon Gruden,” an anonymous source described as being familiar with the emails told the AP.
The source also said the NFL placed emails sent by NFL general counsel and executive vice president Jeff Pash to former Washington team president Bruce Allen “in a different category,” considered them part of Pash’s job and deemed them “appropriate.”
The New York Times reported that Pash and Allen appeared to have a close personal relationship. During their email correspondence, Pash was once asked by Allen if there was a rule against the league hiring Libertarians, Independents or Republicans after the NFL hired Jocelyn Moore in 2016. Moore had previously worked for several Democratic U.S. senators.
Pash replied that there wasn’t a rule, but he wrote “it can sometimes look that way!” The two also joked about the league’s diversity initiatives, and after Allen shared a file of a team song meant to bring in Latino fans, Pash responded, “I am not sure this song will be as popular after the (border) wall gets built,” according to the Times’ report.
The two sides also made jokes about Hooters restaurants, shared their admiration for former President Dwight D. Eisenhower and complained about the country’s direction under former President Barack Obama, the Times reported. In one instance, according to the Times’ report, Pash overruled his staff and rescinded a $15,000 fine for former Washington coach Mike Shanahan doctoring an injury report.
“Communication between league office employees and club executives occurs on a daily basis,” Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of communications, told the Times in its report. “Jeff Pash is a respected and high-character NFL executive. Any effort to portray these emails as inappropriate is either misleading or patently false.”
The AP’s source said Pash hadn’t been “too chummy” with Allen and there was nothing that “led to any sort of undue influence that resulted in any gains by the Washington Football Team.”
Gruden was first found to have made racist comments about NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in emails to Allen. Gruden and Allen worked together with the Raiders and Buccaneers. Gruden apologized for the comments shortly after the initial reports came out Oct. 9.
On Monday, more emails from the investigation were reported, and they showed further derogatory comments by Gruden. They included, but were not limited to, insults about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a sexist meme of a woman refereeing in the NFL, photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, and homophobic comments about former player Michael Sam, who came out as gay before the 2014 NFL Draft.
Gruden resigned that night after meeting with Raiders owner Mark Davis. The league had forwarded the Gruden emails to the Raiders over the weekend.
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