The Jon Gruden saga continues to get crazier and crazier.
Hours after it was announced he would be stepping down as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, more information continued to come out that had Gruden receiving images that contained topless WFT cheerleaders.
Back in 2018, Juliet Macur of The New York Times reported about a trip to Costa Rica that turned into a nightmare for many members of the Washington Redskins cheerleaders, as they felt forced to do things that had nothing to do with the job. Several former Washington believed the activities their crossed the line beyond their usual responsibilities when they were forced to do a topless photo shoot in front of spectators.
“When the Washington Redskins took their cheerleading squad to Costa Rica in 2013 for a calendar photo shoot, the first cause for concern among the cheerleaders came when Redskins officials collected their passports upon arrival at the resort, depriving them of their official identification.
For the photo shoot, at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay, some of the cheerleaders said they were required to be topless, though the photographs used for the calendar would not show nudity. Others wore nothing but body paint. Given the resort’s secluded setting, such revealing poses would not have been a concern for the women — except that the Redskins had invited spectators.
A contingent of sponsors and FedExField suite holders — all men — were granted up-close access to the photo shoots.
One evening, at the end of a 14-hour day that included posing and dance practices, the squad’s director told nine of the 36 cheerleaders that their work was not done. They had a special assignment for the night. Some of the male sponsors had picked them to be personal escorts at a nightclub.
“So get back to your room and get ready,” the director told them. Several of them began to cry.
They felt as if the arrangement amounted to “pimping us out.” What bothered them was their team director’s demand that they go as sex symbols to please male sponsors, which they did not believe should be a part of their job.”
The girls were paid nothing on this trip beyond transportation costs, meals and lodging.
Already under investigation by the NFL for a 2011 email in which he used a racial trope to criticize NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, Gruden admitted Friday that he also used profane language to describe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The New York Times blew the doors down when they unleashed emails where the 58-year-old “casually and frequently unleashed misogynistic and homophobic language” to denigrate NFL peers from 2010 all the way to 2018, when he rejoined the Raiders.
“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 said in a statement released Monday night.
Less than four full seasons into Gruden’s 10-year contract, the Raiders have pegged assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia as their interim coach.