The NFL has asked a Nevada state court to dismiss the lawsuit of former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, and filed another motion to bring about arbitration.
Gruden resigned from his position in October after the discovery of offensive emails he sent over a period of seven years while he was working as an analyst for ESPN on “Monday Night Football.”
“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’s filing says 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.”
Gruden’s lawsuit accuses the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell of leaking the emails with the intention of forcing him out of his head coaching position with the Raiders. The emails were discovered during the NFL’s investigation of workplace misconduct in the Washington Football Team’s organization.
“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,” Gruden’s attorney Adam 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.”
The NFL’s filing suggests that Goodell would have fired Gruden had he not resigned as head coach of the Raiders.
“This action—brought by Jon Gruden to blame anyone but himself for the fallout from the publication of racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails that he wrote and broadly circulated—belongs in arbitration under the clear terms of Gruden’s employment contract and the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws to which Gruden is bound,” the NFL wrote according to The Athletic.
On October 8, The Wall Street Journal published a report detailing a 2011 email from Gruden to Bruce Allen, then the president of the Washington Redskins. In the email, Gruden used racially insensitive language to describe the executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith.
“Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires,” Gruden wrote, according to the Journal.
Gruden apologized for the email, but on October 11, The New York Times published a report that included additional emails from Gruden where he was found to have used a gay slur along with misogynistic language.
As reported by the Times, Gruden sent emails while he was working as an analyst for “Monday Night Football” to Allen and others regarding women referees in the NFL, homosexual players being drafted, and the topic of players protesting the national anthem.
According to the report, Gruden called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “fa****” and a “clueless anti football p****.” Goodell appeared to be the subject of many emails, with Gruden using homophobic language when referring to the commissioner.
The emails were sent between 2011-2018 and included criticism of Goodell for his attempt to reduce concussions in the game of football, which Gruden reportedly felt was discouraging parents from allowing their children to play the game of football.
According to the Times, Gruden also felt that Goodell and the NFL should not have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam.
Gruden reportedly felt that Eric Reid — a player known for kneeling during the National Anthem — should lose his job, and sent emails containing pictures of women dressed only in bikini bottoms.
Later in the day on October 11th, Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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