NFL seeks dismissal of former coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league
The NFL is asking a Nevada judge to dismiss former Las Vegas Raiders Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league over leaked emails that prompted his mid-season resignation in October.
Gruden filed a lawsuit against the league in November alleging that the league deliberately leaked his emails to media outlets in an effort to force him out of his coaching position, calling it “a Soviet-style character assassination.”
In a response on Wednesday, the league filed a motion to dismiss Gruden’s suit and asked the Clark County district court to stay with the motion until it first rules on whether the case should be moved to arbitration.
“Gruden does not, and cannot, dispute that he wrote the published emails. He does not, and cannot, dispute that he sent those emails to multiple parties,” the league said in its court filing, according to The Associated Press.
“Nor does he claim that they were somehow altered or edited and that the repugnant views espoused in them were not in fact expressed by him. Instead, Gruden filed the instant complaint against the NFL and the commissioner, painting himself as the victim in a fictional story and seeking money through baseless claims against the NFL.”
The league has denied leaking the emails between Gruden and former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen and others, saying the former coach had no “expectation of privacy” for the emails, according to the AP.
The lawsuits stem from a leaked email chain from the league’s investigation into the Washington Football Team’s workplace misconduct, the findings of which were kept confidential. Gruden was employed by ESPN as a lead broadcaster for Monday Night Football at the time.
The email chain contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic language, forcing Gruden to resign from his post as Raiders head coach.
“In contrast to the formalities of the Washington Football Team investigation, Defendants’ treatment of Gruden was a Soviet-style character assassination,” said Gruden’s lawsuit against the league. “There was no warning and no process. Defendants held the emails for months until they were leaked to the national media in the middle of the Raiders’ season in order to cause maximum damage to Gruden.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis said in October that the club has reached an undisclosed settlement with Gruden on the remaining salary of his contract.
Gruden had six seasons remaining on his 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders, the AP noted.
The Hill has reached out to the NFL for comment.