Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, shown Sept. 19, 2021, became the team's head coach in 2018. He posted a 22-31 record since joining the team. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Jon Gruden stepped down as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday after reports surfaced saying he wrote emails that included racist, misogynistic and anti-gay language.
"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."
Raiders owner Mark Davis released a brief statement saying he accepted Gruden's resignation. The team said Rich Bisaccia will serve as the Raiders' interim head coach, effective immediately.
Gruden's resignation came shortly after the New York Times reported that he used misogynistic and anti-gay language in multiple emails over a seven-year period. According to the Times, Gruden sent the emails to Bruce Allen, who was the president of the Washington Football Team at that time, and others up until 2018.
The Times' report came just a few days after the Wall Street Journal revealed a 2011 email from Gruden in which he used a racial trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
Gruden was employed by ESPN as the lead analyst for the network's Monday Night Football broadcast at the time of the emails that are now being reviewed.
The emails surfaced during the NFL's investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said "the league was informed of the existence of emails that raised issues beyond the scope of that investigation."
League executives reviewed more than 650,000 emails, including the 2011 one that Gruden wrote to Allen. The NFL then sent pertinent emails to the Raiders for review.
The 58-year-old Gruden became the Raiders' head coach in 2018. He agreed to a 10-year contract with the organization that was worth a reported $100 million.
The Raiders, who have jumped out to a 3-2 record this season, posted a 22-31 mark under Gruden.