Jon Gruden Scores Win In Court Against NFL, Roger Goodell As Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders walks onto the field before a game against the Chicago Bears at Allegiant Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bears defeated the Raiders 20-9. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

Former Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden scored a big win in court against the National Football League and Roger Goodell after a judge denied a motion to dismiss Gruden’s “tortious interference” claim in his lawsuit.

A judge in Nevada ruled that the former Raider’s coach’s two motions could move forward, opening up the possibility of a jury trial in his claim that the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell selectively leaked his emails in 2021. The emails were found during a separate investigation by the league into the then-Washington Redskins over allegations of workplace misconduct, reported in a piece published Thursday. This led to Gruden resigning shortly after the start of the 2021 season.

Judge Nancy L. Allf refused the league’s request to dismiss the case outright and denied the NFL’s motion to compel arbitration. Now Gruden’s suit will go to trial unless a settlement is reached, the outlet noted. Following the decision, the NFL issued a statement that it planned to appeal.

“We believe Coach Gruden’s claims should have been compelled to arbitration, and we will file an appeal of the Court’s determination,” the statement from the league read. “The Court’s denial of our motion to dismiss is not a determination on the merits of Coach Gruden’s lawsuit, which, as we have said from the outset, lacks a basis in law and fact and proceeds from a false premise — neither the NFL nor the Commissioner leaked Coach Gruden’s offensive emails.”

Gruden, who was present in the Nevada courtroom when the judge’s decision was announced, said he would “let the process take care of itself.”

“I’m just going to let the process take care of itself,” Gruden shared while leaving the courtroom. “It’s good to be back in Vegas. I’m going to see some friends tonight. Go Raiders.”

In November, Gruden filed the suit over emails that contained racially insensitive language, as well as use of a gay slur and misogynistic language that was “not fit to be repeated in a public courtroom,” per NFL’s counsel Kannon Shanmugam.

At the time, the former coach’s attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner claimed that the league leaked emails to “harm Gruden’s reputation and force him out of his job,” because the NFL was in possession of them months before the season started.

“There is no explanation or justification for why Gruden’s emails were the only ones made public out of the 650,000 emails collected … or for why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season,” Hosmer-Henner’s statement added.

Gruden worked for ESPN as an analyst on “Monday Night Football” from 2009 to 2017, and it is from his time with the sports network that the emails stem.

He was the coach of the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 before leaving to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002 to 2008 where he lead them to the Super Bowl and they beat the Raiders in SB XXXVII. He was rehired in 2018 and given a 10-year, $100 million contract.

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