On Wednesday, the NFL formally requested a Nevada judge to dismiss former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against them over his leaked emails. The league also reportedly divulged that Gruden sent offensive electronic correspondences to at least six people, per The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan.
The NFL’s lawyers called Gruden’s suit a “baseless attempt” to put the blame on the league for the public backlash after emails sent by Gruden containing misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ comments were leaked.
“Gruden sent a variety of similarly abhorrent emails to a half dozen recipients over a seven-year period, in which he denounced the emergence of women as referees, and frequently used homophobic and sexist slurs to refer to Commissioner Goodell, then-Vice President Joseph Biden, a gay professional football player drafted in 2014, and others,” the NFL wrote.
Gruden filed his suit against the NFL and Roger Goodell in November, with his attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, alleging “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.”
Goodell and the NFL have publicly denied leaking the emails, which were discovered as part of an investigation into toxicity within the Washington Football Team franchise.
“Gruden does not, and cannot, dispute that he wrote the published emails,” the NFL wrote in its motion, per Tom Schad of USA TODAY. “He does not, and cannot, dispute that he sent those emails to multiple parties. 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.”
The NFL is still deciding whether it believes the case should be moved to arbitration or not. Per NFL contract rules, disputes are required to be settled in arbitration, while Gruden’s position is that this matter goes beyond normal workplace disagreements, per The Athletic.
Whether the case proceeds to arbitration or not, the league’s assertion on where the responsibility lies in regard to Gruden’s employment is clear.
“To the extent that Jon Gruden suffered any damage, he has no one to blame but himself.”
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For more coverage of the Raiders, visit Raider Maven.