Jon Gruden’s predecessor issued a stern rebuke of the former Las Vegas Raiders coach on Thursday after the revelation of Gruden’s racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails prompted his resignation.
“It was, I guess, shocking,” Jack Del Rio, who coached the Raiders from 2015-17 and now serves as the Washington Football Team’s defensive coordinator, said Thursday. “Embarrassingly bad for a person in that position – to have those thoughts and then express them like that. I don’t have a lot of respect for it.”
Del Rio compiled a 25-23 record during his run with the Raiders. Owner Mark Davis admitted in 2018 that he reached out to Gruden earlier the previous fall and agreed to a deal with Gruden before firing Del Rio. Despite that timeline, the NFL ruled that the Raiders had complied with the league-mandated Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview a minority candidate before making a head coaching hire.
Bringing Gruden back for a second stint with the franchise, which the coach first led from 1998-2001, was in Davis’ mind for six years, he said in 2018.
“He was always very straightforward with the fact that he was in love with Jon, and if he had the chance, he was going to hire him,” Del Rio told Sports Illustrated in 2019. “He said it every chance he got.”
Gruden resigned on Monday after reports by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times revealed portions of the emails he sent from 2011-18 to then-Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen, among others, as an employee of ESPN.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jon Gruden’s emails ’embarrassingly bad,’ Jack Del Rio says