Jon Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders only a few days after a damning article published in The Wall Street Journal. The article revealed that the 58-year-old coach used the term "bigger lips than the Michelin man" to describe NFLPA Executive Director Demaurice Smith during an email exchange. The conversation took place during the NFL lockout in 2011, and Gruden was supposedly referring to the fact that he thought Smith was lying about some statements he made.
"All I can say is that I'm not a racist," Gruden said after Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears. "I can't tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to De Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I've done my entire life. I apologize for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all. But… yes, they can… I'm not like that at all. I apologize but I don't want to keep addressing it."
A New York Times article revealed that Gruden also made misogynistic and anti-gay remarks in his emails, making the situation even worse for everyone involved. In fact, the reveal was followed by Gruden's swift resignation.
"I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction," Gruden said in a statement. "Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone."
The news was broken earlier today by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who claimed that Gruden spoke with Raiders owner, Mark Davis, about stepping down as head coach sometime on Monday. He later informed the players of the decision before making it known to the public about his decision. According to Suzy Kolber of ESPN.COM, assistant coach Rich Bisaccia is expected to take over the coaching reigns for Gruden. Another coach probably won't be found until sometime during the offseason.
Gruden was just four years into a ten-year contract with the team but only touted a record of 22-31 during that time. He is also coming fresh off of back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Chargers and The Chicago Bears, ruining the momentum of the team's 3-0 run during the first three weeks. It honestly seems like the combination of media attention from the news stories and their 0-2 record in the last two games is what ultimately brought Gruden's reign to an end.
This is just not a good situation all around for the Las Vegas Raiders. They are just coming off back-to-back losses, their offense has completely shut down, and now they are without their leader in Jon Gruden. They also have a defense that is still struggling to keep the game close.
Where the Raiders go from here is anyone's guess, but they need something good to happen to them—just something to hang their hat on after so much negativity.