Jon Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell in Nevada claiming they leaked private emails to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to destroy his career and reputation. Gruden wants damages for seven different claims and punitive damages and lawyer fees.
Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, said: “Jon Gruden has filed suit against the National Football League and Commissioner Goodell in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada.
“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.
“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.
The lawsuit claims the NFL and Goodell “sought to destroy the career and reputation” of Gruden through “a malicious and orchestrated campaign.”
The suit says:
“In contrast to the formalities of the Washington Football Team investigation, defendants’ treatment of Gruden was a Soviet-style character assassination.
“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,” the lawsuit says.
“The allegations are entirely meritless, and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Oct. 8 that Gruden had used a racial trope to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. Gruden apologized, and two days later a listless Raiders team lost at home to the Chicago Bears.
On Oct. 11, The New York Times reported many more problematic emails sent by Gruden. He resigned that evening, apologizing again and saying he never meant to hurt anyone.
The emails were uncovered as part of the NFL’s investigation into claims of workplace misconduct against the Washington Football Team. They were sent by Gruden to then-Washington president Bruce Allen and others.
Gruden has been silent since his resignation as the Raiders have gone 2-1 under interim coach Rich Bisaccia and host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, according to his attorney, claiming that Gruden's emails were "selectively leaked" in order to "force him out of his job." https://t.co/ooRsobKt6h— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 12, 2021