The NFL Players Association wants the league to release all email communications it reviewed as part of an investigation into the Washington Football Team, including those involving former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The NFL Players Association asked the league to release all emails related to its investigation into the Washington Football Team, including those tied to former coach Jon Gruden, a union spokesman told UPI on Wednesday.
The NFL did not immediately respond when asked if it plans to comply with the union's request.
Gruden resigned Monday from his role as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. His departure came as reports surfaced over the last two weeks that revealed racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms Gruden used in email communications from 2010 to 2018.
Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith told USA Today on Tuesday that he was talking with the league about the 650,000 emails and planned to make the request. Smith said there is "potential for good" if the emails are released.
"It took a long time for the league to recognize that they had not listened to the players and addressed their concerns about why players were kneeling or why players were actively becoming engaged in social-justice issues," Smith told USA Today.
"Maybe there is the potential here for recognizing that there are people within our system that engage in or support ideas that we know are inconsistent with fairness and justice and equality, and maybe if we can embrace that quicker, then it gives us an opportunity to understand and fix what I believe are systemic problems in diverse hiring in the league.
"I think that is the hope. And maybe the best outcome for all of us."
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported last week that Gruden used a racist trope to describe Smith in one of his email communications with former Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen.
On Sunday, Gruden apologized for his comment about Smith. He resigned the next day, after the Times obtained additional emails and reported that Gruden used more disparaging language directed at former St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and others.
The emails were part of the NFL's investigation into the Washington Football Team for workplace misconduct, which ended this summer.
The league fined Washington $10 million after its investigation into alleged sexual harassment that took place between managers and executives and other staff members within the franchise.
Gruden was in his 15th season as an NFL head coach. He started his NFL coaching tenure as an offensive assistant in 1990 for the San Francisco 49ers.
He first coached the Raiders from 1998 through 2001. He spent the 2002 through 2008 seasons as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in 2003.
Gruden worked as an analyst on ESPN's Monday Night Football for several years before he returned to coach the Raiders in 2018. The Buccaneers removed Gruden from their Ring of Honor on Tuesday in response to his offensive emails.
"While we acknowledge Jon Gruden's contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization," the Buccaneers said.
Former Raiders assistant coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia was named the team's interim coach Monday night. The Raiders will face the Denver Broncos at 4:25 p.m. EDT Sunday in Denver.