Jon Gruden is currently suing the NFL over the emails that ended his tenure as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, but that apparently doesn't mean he doesn't regret said emails.
The former Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach addressed the issue at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Tuesday, saying he was "ashamed" of the emails, but still believes himself to be a good person.
Jon Gruden at the Little Rock Touchdown club commenting on the emails that ended his NFL coaching career. pic.twitter.com/1ClcWtdTRn
— Steve Sullivan (@sully7777) August 30, 2022
"I'm not going to say anything but honest things here. I'm ashamed about what has come about in these emails. I'll make no excuses for it. It's shameful. But, I am a good person. I believe that. I go to church. I've been married for 31 years. I've got three great boys. I still love football. I've made some mistakes, but I don't think anybody in here hasn't. I just ask for forgiveness and, hopefully, I get another shot."
Gruden resigned from the Raiders job last year after a collection of emails came to light showing his correspondence with former Washington Commanders president Bruce Allen. The emails surfaced as part of the NFL's investigation into Washington's workplace culture, a process that resulted in a $10 million fine for the team, but no public release of the findings.
The emails contained a litany of slurs and other bigoted language, including calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a "fa****t" and a "clueless anti football p****y," criticizing Goodell for supposedly pressuring the Rams into drafting "queers" (referring to the openly gay Michael Sam), using racist language to describe NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith and complaining about the NFL's recently hired female referees and player protests for racial justice during the national anthem.
The emails brought a swift end for Gruden and, eventually, litigation for the NFL. Gruden filed a lawsuit a month later claiming he was "forced to resign" and accusing the NFL and Goodell of trying to destroy his career using a "malicious and orchestrated campaign," seeking punitive damages from the league. Gruden's camp has questioned why his emails were leaked while the rest of the Washington investigation was kept under wraps.
The NFL has so far tried to shoot down the lawsuit by either having it dismissed or pushed into private arbitration, but a judge denied motions for both in May.