Oct 10, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders head coach John Gruden is pictured before the start of a game against the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders coach

Jon Gruden resigned as the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach Monday night in the wake of further allegations of inappropriate emails.

The New York Times reported Monday the existence of numerous emails that included homophobic or misogynistic terms. That news followed a Friday report from the Wall Street Journal that Gruden used racist language in a 2011 email when describing the appearance of DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association. Gruden apologized but said he didn’t remember writing the email.

Gruden said in a statement Monday night, “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.”

He reportedly told team owner Mark Davis of his decision to step down in a face-to-face meeting.

Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders’ assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, likely will replace Gruden as head coach on an interim basis, according to ESPN.

The Times reported that the NFL, in the midst of an unrelated investigation, flagged many emails written by Gruden. He allegedly used disparaging terms while expressing opposition to women serving as NFL referees, the league drafting or including gay players and the player protests while the national anthem is played pregame.

Gruden also allegedly used foul terms to describe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, including an anti-gay slur, and used a different anti-gay slur while writing about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round in 2014 but never played a regular-season game in the league.

The Raiders currently employ the only active openly gay NFL player, defensive end Carl Nassib, who has 1.5 sacks in five games this year.

Smith tweeted Monday, “The email from Jon Gruden — and some of the reaction to it — confirms that the fight against racism, racist tropes and intolerance is not over. This is not about an email as much as it is about a pervasive belief by some that people who look like me can be treated as less.”

Gruden, 58, signed a 10-year, $100 million deal to return to coaching with the Raiders in 2018.

The Raiders are off to a 3-2 start, leaving Gruden 22-31 in his second stint as the team’s head coach. He was 38-35 in the regular season while coaching the then-Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001, and he posted a 57-55 regular-season mark with the Buccaneers from 2002-08, leading Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl championship after the 2002 season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws the ball in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders outlast Dolphins in OT to reach 3-0

Derek Carr completed a huge 34-yard overtime pass to Bryan Edwards, and Daniel Carlson connected on a 22-yard field goal a few minutes later, leading the host Las Vegas Raiders to a 31-28 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.

Carr passed for 386 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders (3-0) overcame an early 14-point deficit. Carr eclipsed 300 passing yards for his fifth straight game.

The Raiders recorded their first 3-0 start since 2002.

Carlson, who has an active streak of 29 consecutive made field goals, missed an extra point in the fourth quarter, opening the door for a Miami comeback.

Raiders running back Peyton Barber rushed for a career-high 111 yards and one score.

Miami (1-2) forced overtime with quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s one-yard scramble touchdown on fourth-and-goal with two seconds left in regulation and a two-point conversion pass to Will Fuller. That TD was set up by an interference call in the end zone on Vegas cornerback Trayvon Mullen.

Brissett started his first game since Tua Tagovailoa suffered fractured ribs and was ruled out for at least three contests. Brissett passed for 215 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Miami was also led by veteran linebacker Elandon Roberts, who converted his first career interception into his first touchdown. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have forced at least one turnover in 25 consecutive games.

Miami led 14-2 after the first quarter.

Carr, under pressure from safety Eric Rowe’s blitz, tossed a soft pass right at Roberts, who ran the interception 85 yards for a score.

On Vegas’ next possession, on fourth-and-one from their own 34, Barber was stopped by defensive tackle Zach Sieler for no gain. Miami took advantage of Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s failed gamble, scoring four plays later on Malcolm Brown’s 24-yard run.

A 49-yard punt by Vegas’ AJ Cole was downed inside Miami’s one by Zay Jones. On the next play, Brissett’s bubble screen to Jaylen Waddle resulted in a safety as he was immediately tackled in the end zone by Casey Hayward. It was the Raiders’ first safety since 2015.

Vegas kept coming in the second quarter, cutting its deficit to 14-12 at halftime.

After Carlson’s 50-yard field goal, the Raiders put together a 10-play, 95-yard drive. On first-and-goal from Miami’s four, Barber fumbled, but the ball was recovered by fullback Alec Ingold. On the next play, Carr threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Ingold.

The final play of the first half was Jason Sanders’ 48-yard field-goal miss for Miami, which bounced off the right post.

With 7:17 left in the third, Vegas took its first lead, 19-14, on Hunter Renfrow’s 12-yard touchdown catch. Renfrow beat two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard with a triple move.

Early in the fourth, the Raiders went up 25-14 on Barber’s one-yard run as he jumped over the pile. Carlson missed the extra point.

With 8:34 left, Sanders’ 46-yard field goal cut Miami’s deficit to 25-17.

After Brissett helped tie the score, Carlson (38 yards) and Sanders (50) each made a field goal on their teams’ first overtime possessions.

–Field Level Media

Aug 18, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Las Vegas Raiders  guard Richie Incognito (64) interacts with Los Angeles Rams vice president of communications Artis Twyman during a joint practice. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders place Richie Incognito on injured reserve

The Las Vegas Raiders placed offensive guard Richie Incognito on injured reserve Saturday. The four-time Pro Bowler has struggled with a calf injury and been unable to participate in practice or play in a game since sustaining the injury Aug. 19.

Placing him on injured reserve means the Raiders will be without his services for a minimum of three weeks.

In a corresponding move, the Raiders signed running back Trey Ragas, 24, to the active roster.

This spring, the Raiders released Incognito, 38, to save salary cap space before re-signing the veteran to a more cap-friendly deal.

Incognito is a four-time Pro Bowl selection who has played 164 games (all starts) since arriving in the NFL in 2006.

–Field Level Media

Aug 7, 2019; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders president Marc Badain during a training camp joint practice against the Los Angeles Rams at Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Stadium finance issues led to Raiders’ front office shakeup

Four front office executives for the Las Vegas Raiders left the team in recent weeks, and accounting problems involving the club’s new stadium were the genesis, Forbes reported Thursday.

Front Office Sports reported that the Raiders have launched an investigation being conducted by outside lawyers.

According to Forbes, the club might be facing tax issues as a result of irregularities connected to the finances of Allegiant Stadium.

Marc Badain, the most high-profile departure of the bunch, served as team president for more than six years before resigning July 19. Other executives to leave since June were chief financial officer Ed Villanueva, vice president of strategy and business development Brandon Doll and controller Araxie Grant.

The internal investigation would account for the Raiders not offering further information on the departures. Some of the speculation following those shakeups has centered on stadium issues — from a lack of parking for fans to difficulties in making the move from Oakland in general.

The Raiders finalized their relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas in the summer of 2020. Badain called the move “unequivocally the most challenging part of my 30 years with the organization.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders president Marc Badain attends a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders president Marc Badain resigns

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis announced the resignation of team president Marc Badain Monday.

Badain had served in various roles with the organization for the past 30 years, starting out as an intern before eventually becoming interim president in 2013. The interim tag was removed in 2015.

The Raiders organization credited Badain with being instrumental in the team’s acquisition of a new stadium deal in Las Vegas, as well as the subsequent move.

As part of a statement, Davis said, “His efforts in helping to build the most magnificent stadium in the sports and entertainment capital of the world will never be forgotten. … Once a Raider, always a Raider.”

The Raiders named Dan Ventrelle as his successor. Ventrelle had served the Raiders as executive vice president and general counsel.

–Field Level Media

Jan 18, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Team East running back Benny LeMay (32) and Team West safety Luther Kirk (34) receive the trophy for defensive and offensive most valuable player respectively in the 95th East-West Shrine Bowl at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

East-West Shrine Bowl moving to Las Vegas in 2022

The East-West Shrine Bowl is moving to Las Vegas in 2022.

Played annually since 1925, college football’s longest-running all-star showcase will take place on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, as part of the NFL’s Pro Bowl week. About 125 players are expected to participate.

The game will be televised during prime time on NFL Network.

The East-West Shrine Bowl, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, had been held in St. Petersburg, Fla., since 2012.

Other cities that have hosted the contest over the years include San Francisco, New Orleans, Oakland, San Antonio, Houston and Orlando.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib (94) reacts on the sidelines after a play against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders’ Carl Nassib has NFL’s top-selling jersey after coming out

One day after announcing that he is gay, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib reportedly had the top-selling jersey in the NFL.

ESPN reported Tuesday that Nassib’s No. 94 jersey was the top seller in the Fanatics network, the largest collection of official fan gear in the world.

Nassib, 28, made his announcement on Instagram Monday, becoming the first active NFL player to acknowledge his homosexuality.

“I’m at my house here in West Chester, Pennsylvania,” Nassib said. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.

“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I am gonna do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate.”

Nassib further announced a $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project, which works to prevent suicides among LGBTQ+ youth in America and cited that as a main reason for coming forward.

The sixth-year defensive end is on track to become the first openly gay athlete to compete in an NFL regular season game. After being drafted in the third round in 2016 by the Browns, he spent two seasons in Cleveland (2016-17) and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018-19) before signing a three-year, $25.3 million contract with the Raiders in 2020.

In 73 career games (37 starts), Nassib has 143 tackles (36 for loss), 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defensed, one interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) with tight end Travis Kelce (87) after a play against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mahomes’ magic: Late TD pass lifts Chiefs over Raiders

Patrick Mahomes passed for 348 yards and two touchdowns, including a 22-yarder to tight end Travis Kelce with 28 seconds left, as the visiting Kansas City Chiefs rallied for a 35-31 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night.

It was the sixth time in his career that Mahomes, who completed 34 of 45 passes, led the Chiefs from behind in the fourth quarter or overtime for a victory.

He had plenty of help as Kansas City (9-1) won its fifth straight game. Kelce caught eight passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill had a game-high 11 receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns.

Derek Carr completed 23 of 31 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, which came on a deep pass after the Chiefs’ late touchdown. Josh Jacobs rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown for Las Vegas (6-4), which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

The Raiders took a 31-28 lead with 1:43 to go on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Carr to Jason Witten, but Mahomes then drove the Chiefs 75 yards in seven plays — all passes — capped by his scrambling 22-yard TD pass to a wide-open Kelce in the middle of the end zone.

Las Vegas scored on each of its first three possessions while building a 17-14 halftime lead.

Kansas City took a 21-17 lead with a 16-play, 93-yard drive that chewed up 8:37 to open the second half. Edwards-Helaire finished the drive with his second touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run off right tackle.

Las Vegas responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive to regain the lead at 24-21 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Carr hit a wide-open Darren Waller in the back of the end zone with a 3-yard touchdown pass.

After both teams traded three-and-outs, the Chiefs put together their second 90-plus-yard drive of the game, this one covering 91 yards in 12 plays, to go ahead 28-24. Le’Veon Bell capped the series with a 6-yard sweep around left end for his first touchdown of the season.

Kansas City coach Andy Reid improved to 19-3 after a bye week.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Las Vegas Raiders strong safety Johnathan Abram (24) and cornerback Isaiah Johnson (31) celebrate at the end of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 31-26.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders return seven players from COVID list

The Las Vegas Raiders will be closer to full strength just in time for a big matchup on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Raiders (6-3) activated seven players from the reserve/COVID-19 list — all defensive players. Las Vegas faces the visiting and AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) on Sunday night.

The Raiders activated safety Johnathan Abram, cornerback Isaiah Johnson, defensive tackles Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins and Kendal Vickers, and defensive end Arden Key from the COVID list on Saturday.

All six of those players were placed on the list on Wednesday after they were determined to have been in close contact with defensive end Clelin Ferrell, another Raiders defensive end who tested positive for the virus early in the week.

Las Vegas also added defensive end David Irving to the active roster; he was on the practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list.

In additional roster maneuvering, the Raiders activated linebacker Javin White and defensive end Chris Smith off the practice squad.

The Raiders also added to the reserve/COVID list as well, with running back Theo Riddick slotted there on Saturday.

Las Vegas has battled with the NFL’s COVID regulations all season. The franchise has reportedly been fined more than a combined $600,000 and docked a sixth-round draft pick for repeated violations of the league’s healthy and safety protocols.

Coach Jon Gruden was fined $100,000 early in the 2020 season for not adhering to the league’s rules on wearing a mask on the sidelines during games.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said his team would appeal the punitive measures from the NFL.

“The fines are draconian,” Davis told ESPN. “But we will appeal them. Outside the organization, people have the wrong impression about the Raiders.”

–Field Level Media

Scientific Games Acquires Don Best Sports

 

The parade of change continues in the nation’s nascent sports wagering industry with today’s announcement that Scientific Games Corporation is acquiring Las Vegas-based Don Best Sports Corporation and DBS Canada Corporation for an undisclosed purchase price.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

The purchase became public knowledge early Tuesday and a key Don Best executive confirmed the sale to Sports Handle, saying he would provide a company statement soon, but cannot comment further right now because of “public company sensitivities.”

Scientific Games Buys Don Best Sports, Expands Company’s Sports Betting Offerings, Particularly in the U.S. 

Don Best has been a major sports wagering information provider for decades, orchestrating worldwide sports betting through its “Official International Rotation” listing games for all major U.S. sports leagues, time changes, game locations and betting numbers in a specific order or rotation.