Gruden quits as Raiders NFL coach

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Jon Gruden has resigned as Las Vegas Raiders' NFL head coach after his use of inappropriate language in emails surfaced on Monday.

"I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction," Gruden said in a statement released on Monday night.

"Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I'm sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone."

Gruden stepped down after The New York Times reported that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL while working as an analyst for ESPN between 2011 and 2018.

Those claims came after The Wall Street Journal printed a story Friday that Gruden used racist language in a 2011 email when describing the appearance of DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association.

The 58-year-old Gruden - who signed a 10-year, $100 million ($A140m) deal to return to coaching with the Raiders - apologised after the details of his Smith comments were revealed but said he didn't remember writing the email and that he did not have "a blade of racism" in him.

Rich Bisaccia likely will replace Gruden as head coach on an interim basis, according to ESPN. He has been the team's assistant head coach and special teams coordinator.

The Times reported that the NFL, in the midst of a workplace misconduct investigation of the Washington Football Team, uncovered many disparaging emails written by Gruden.

He allegedly used homophobic and misogynistic terms while expressing opposition to women serving as NFL referees-, the league drafting or including gay players and the player protests while the national anthem is played pregame.

Gruden also allegedly used foul terms to describe Goodell, including a homophobic slur, and used a different homophobic slur while writing about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

The Raiders currently employ the only active openly gay NFL player, defensive end Carl Nassib.

Smith tweeted Monday, "The email from Jon Gruden -- and some of the reaction to it - confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over. This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less."

Raiders owner Mark Davis said last week that the email about Smith was "disturbing and not what the Raiders stand for".

with AP

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