Jon Gruden’s resignation as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders shook up the NFL. Some considered the abrupt departure a precursor to the League releasing more provocative messages from Gruden — which ultimately occurred as emails surfaced, accusing Gruden of using “misogynistic and homophobic language.”
On Wednesday, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib, who is openly gay, announced that he is skipping practice: attributing the recent Gruden scandal. Raiders general manager Mike Mayock commented that Nassib had requested a personal day.
“He just said he’s got a lot to process,” said the GM, via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. “There’s a lot that’s been going on the last few days. And of course, we support that request.”
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” tweeted Gruden late Monday, following a weekend of quelling controversy from an email directed at NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith. “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.”
Carl Nassib made the announcement regarding his sexuality back on June 2021. Mizzou’s Michael Sam became the first publicly gay player in the NFL in 2014 after getting drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. One of the messages released by the New York Times detailed Gruden addressing Sam’s drafting in a derogatory regard.
Days following his announcement, Nassib spoke on the experience — which he considered a surprisingly warm reception by players, coaches and executives alike.
“I had zero stress about that,” Nassib said, regarding a question on his team’s reception to the news. “Absolutely no worries about it. Got a great locker room, great teammates. Been met with nothing but love and support, it’s been incredible. Football players get a bad wrap but we’re humble, hard-working, accepting people and this was a great example of that definitely.”
Gruden lauded Nassib for his performance following the team’s Week 1 Monday Night Football win against the Baltimore Ravens.
“That was big. He made us a big play at the end of the game,” said Gruden. “He’s had a great training camp, and we’re going to need him here obviously as we move forward.”
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