Ex-Raiders coach Gruden removed from Madden 22 after NFL email scandal
Jon Gruden continues to face backlash over his emails after EA Sports announced it will drop the former NFL Las Vegas Raiders coach from its Madden 22 game in the wake of his resignation.
"EA Sports is committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity," the company tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "Due to the circumstances of Jon Gruden’s resignation, we are taking steps to remove him from Madden NFL 22."
"We will replace him with a generic likeness via a title update in the coming weeks," the statement continued.
It’s another domino in the fallout regarding Gruden. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers removed Gruden from the team's Ring of Honor, according to FOX 13 Tampa Bay. FOX Business also reported Skechers, the shoe and apparel company, ended its relationship with Gruden.
Gruden resigned as coach this week after emails he sent before being hired in 2018 were found to have contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments.
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Gruden released a statement Monday night, saying: "I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. 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.
Head coach John Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders reacts on the sideline during a game against the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.
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The Times reported that Gruden used a gay slur to insult Goodell and said he was "clueless" and "anti-football." He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured the Rams to draft "queers," a reference to Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
The Times reported that in a 2017 email, Gruden responded to a sexist meme of a female official by saying: "Nice job roger."
The paper also said Gruden criticized Goodell and the NFL league for trying to reduce concussions, and said that Eric Reid, a player who had demonstrated during the playing of the national anthem, should be fired.
The newspaper said Gruden also mocked an article in 2017 about players calling on Goodell to support their efforts promoting racial equality and criminal justice reform.
RELATED: 'The NFL has ghosted us': Former Washington Football Team employees scrutinize investigation
"He needs to hide in his concussion protocol tent," Gruden wrote.
Gruden also reportedly criticized President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign in 2012, and then-vice president Joe Biden.
Gruden apologized for his "insensitive remarks" about Smith, saying they were made out of frustration over the 2011 lockout. But the latest emails sent from between 2011-18 when Gruden was an analyst for ESPN show his use of derogatory language went well beyond that.
Gruden has a 117-112 career record but hasn’t won a playoff game since the Super Bowl victory over the Raiders in the 2002 season.
It was a rapid downfall for Gruden, who is in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100 million contract he signed with the Raiders in 2018. It started on Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email to former Washington executive Bruce Allen.
Gruden’s comments to Allen about Smith came during the 2011 lockout of the players by the NFL. Gruden told the Wall Street Journal he was angry about the lockout during labor negotiations and he didn’t trust the direction the union was taking.
Special teams and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia will take over the Raiders on an interim basis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.