By Field Level Media
Last Updated: 12/11/21 10:15pm
Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden is suing the National Football League and commissioner Roger Goodell, with his attorney contending emails that led to Gruden’s resignation were “selectively leaked” to “force him out of his job.”
Gruden resigned on October 11 after the emails revealed derogatory comments he made about Goodell, players’ union chief DeMaurice Smith and various team owners, as well as statements categorised as racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported extensively about the content of the emails, which were uncovered as part of the league’s investigation into the operation of the Washington Football Team.
“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 why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season,” said Adam Hosmer-Henner, who is representing Gruden, in a statement.
The league responded with a statement of its own, saying: “The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims.”
The emails were sent from 2011 to 2018, when Gruden was an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
He previously coached the Raiders from 1998-2001, then moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-08.
After his time with ESPN, Gruden signed a 10-year, $100m contract in 2018 to return to coaching. He had a 22-31 record over the past three-plus seasons in his second stint with the Raiders, including a 3-2 mark this season.
The Raiders are 2-1 under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and 5-3 overall, tying them with the Los Angeles Chargers for the best record in the AFC West.