The longtime agent for former Super Bowl-winning NFL head coach Jon Gruden spoke out about what he called a “hit job” to run his longtime client out of the league over controversial remarks in emails that were swept up as a part of investigation into the workplace culture of the franchise formerly known as the Washington Redskins.
Gruden was forced to resign from his job coaching the Las Vegas Raiders last fall over what was deemed to be homophobic, misogynist and racist language in the emails which were leaked to media outlets including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, both of which published his remarks in what his legal team described as a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” in a lawsuit filed against the NFL and it’s commissioner Roger Goodell.
In the leaked emails that were sent to former Washington GM Bruce Allen, a longtime friend and associate, Gruden referred to Goodell as a a “f*ggot” and a “clueless anti football p**sy,” slammed then -Vice President Joe Biden as a “nervous clueless p**sy” and joked that NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith who is black, had lips the size of Michellin tires.” The resulting firestorm led to his resignation.
"I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone."
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) October 12, 2021
“I can tell you right now that was a hit job,” Gruden’s agent Bob LaMonte told Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan website JoeBucsFan.com.
“Jon’s doing a lot better now,” he said. “He was in a state of shock and I was worried about him when this first broke because it was a shot in the dark in the middle of the night. I think the hardest thing for him was that it’s in the middle of October.”
“Supposedly, all this information was known in August. Why now, of all things, does that come out in an investigation that had already gone away?” LaMonte asked of the timing of the leaked emails. “And it was 10 years ago. And then why Jon and why the Raiders? He wasn’t even in the league at the time of those e-mails … that’s the tragedy of it. You can say what you want, but if anyone really understands Jon, they know he’s not a racist. That’s quite obvious. No one would ever say that.”
“The biggest thing that got him was Jon had called Roger Goodell a female body part that wasn’t becoming,” he said. “I guess he made some bad comments about the Glazers, but you have to realize he had just been fired by the Bucs and he thought he was on private e-mails. A lot of people when they’re fired say bad things.”
Gruden was fired by the Buccaneers in 2009 after seven seasons, struggling to ever live up to the success of his first year when he led the team to its first Super Bowl win over the Oakland Raiders.
“It took a very bad toll on him. Jon will tell you he’s a boring guy. The guy watches films all day, that’s what he does. He’s basically a football junkie and you took it away from him. His family was destroyed, his wife’s answering questions, his son works for the team. I can tell you right now that was a hit job,” LaMonte said.
“This wasn’t good for anybody. That’s why he ended up suing the NFL and Goodell — because everyone knows it was wrong. You have 650,000 e-mails and his six were picked out … and he wasn’t even in the league. He prevailed in court and he will prevail again,” the agent expressed optimism that Gruden will ultimately be victorious against Goodell and the league in court. “I really believe in my heart and soul he will coach again. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t. My question is what did Jon really do? Most people wouldn’t want their private e-mails from 10 days ago looked at. That’s why if this were to go to trial, it would be devastating for the National Football League.
“I think Jon looks younger, happier and better now. He’s an infinitely wealthy person and the irony of this lawsuit is that everyone says he’ll make a fortune, He doesn’t really need the money. All Jon Gruden wants is his life back — and he’s going to get it back,” LaMonte said.
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