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Davis’ ‘dream’ hire of Gruden turns into Raiders nightmare
By AP News Josh Dubow
Published October 12, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden leaves after speaking during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Las Vegas, in this Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, file photo. Jon Gruden is out as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails he sent before being hired in 2018 contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments. Gruden released a statement Monday night, Oct. 11, 2021, that he is stepping down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

When Jon Gruden returned to the Raiders back in 2018 he was greeted with a pep rally news conference, owner Mark Davis calling it a “dream come true” and the “biggest day of his life.”

There was much less pomp and circumstance surrounding the coach’s rapid departure, with Davis sending out a simple statement: “I have accepted Jon Gruden’s resignation as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.”

While Gruden was done in by emails he sent in the years before he rejoined the Raiders that the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported were filled with racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments, his work on the field never quite lived up to what Davis hoped when he completed his years-long pursuit of the coach of his dreams.

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The Raiders had a 22-31 record in three-plus seasons under Gruden, ranking 22nd in winning percentage, last in points allowed and 24th in scoring as his poor personnel moves ultimately sabotaged his coaching record.

 The revelations of the emails also brought shame to an organization that prides itself on a history of inclusion which includes refusing to play an exhibition game in the segregated South of the 1960s; the hiring of the second coach of Mexican descent in Tom Flores; and the first Black coach in the modern NFL in Art Shell.
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