Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is not going down without a fight after resigning his post last month. Gruden, 58, decided to resign after a string of emails were made public record showing the Super Bowl-winning coach in a homophobic, sexist and racist light.
Said decision came after unidentified individual(s) leaked the emails to the press stemming from a separate NFL-led investigation regarding workplace misconduct allegations against the Washington Football Team.
Now, roughly two weeks after his resignation, Jon Gruden is suing both the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell in Nevada district court — claiming they sought to destroy Gruden’s career and reputation through a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” that ultimately led to the head coach’s departure from the Raiders’ organization only three-plus years into his 10-year contract.
The complaint claims that there was intentional interferences on the part of the NFL and Goodell relating to Gruden’s contractual relations with the Raiders.
“Defendants hired and retained several professionals to lead the investigation. Defendants also hired and retained numerous employees and professionals to help conduct the investigation, including Commissioner Goodell, who is employed by the NFL. Defendants knew that those employees and agents leading and conducting the investigation would have access to and control over highly confidential personal information. Defendants substantially assisted one another to accomplish the wrongful acts committed against Gruden,” the suit stated.
“When their initial salvo did not result in Gruden’s firing or resignation, Defendants ratcheted up the pressure by intimating that further documents would become public if Gruden was not fired,” the lawsuit stated. “They followed through with this threat by leaking another batch of documents to the New York Times for an October 11, 2021 article. On October 7, 2021, Jon Gruden was the head coach of the Raiders on a 10-year, $100-million contract. By October 11, 2021, he had been forced to resign.”
NFL responds to lawsuit filed by former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden
The league released a statement after the aforementioned lawsuit was filed in Las Vegas District Court on Friday. Said statement is not surprising in any way.
“The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.
The NFL had in the past settled several high-profile cases to avoid discovery in a public forum. That includes Colin Kaepernick’s claims of collussion on the part of the NFL and its teams to keep him out of the league. There’s a decent chance this is going to be the case given that Gruden having his day in court would likely lead to a ton more information being released relating to both the Washington Football Team investigation and the NFL’s alleged involvement in the leaking of Gruden’s emails.
This latter point was not lost on Gruden attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner of McDonald Carano, who had this to say in a statement following the suit being filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County.
“The complaint alleges that the defendants selectively leaked Gruden’s private correspondence to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in order to harm Gruden’s reputation and force him out of his job,” Hosmer-Henner said. “There is no explanation or justification for why Gruden’s emails were the only ones made public out of the 650,000 emails collected in the NFL’s investigation of the Washington Football Team or for why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season.”
Stay tuned to Vegas Sports Today for more information on this breaking story.