Gruden also criticized President Obama during his reelection campaign in 2012, as well as then Vice President Joe Biden, whom Gruden called a “nervous and clueless cat.” He used similar words to describe Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association.
The league is already investigating Gruden following another email he wrote to Allen in 2011 in which he used racist terms to describe Smith, who is black.
In this email, Gruden, who is white and worked for ESPN at the time, criticized Smith’s intelligence and used a racist trope to describe his face. The correspondence was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by The New York Times.
The league Smith and Raiders owner Mark Davis have all spoken out against Gruden’s comments, but the coach has so far not been penalized and he has coached his team in Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. Gruden said on Friday that he had no recollection of sending the email and that his language “went too far”, adding: “I never had a blade of racism in me.”
Emails from Gruden to Allen, who was fired by the Washington football team in late 2019, came under scrutiny as part of an NFL investigation into workplace misconduct within the franchise that is over this summer. Goodell has asked league officials to check more than 650,000 emails in the past few months, including those in which Gruden made offensive remarks. Last week Goodell received a summary of their findings and the league sent the Raiders some of the emails Gruden wrote.
In the exchanges, Gruden used his personal email account while Allen wrote from his team account. In some cases Allen started the conversations and Gruden stepped in, while in other cases they exchange vulgar comments on multiple occasions.