Jon Gruden, who stepped down as Las Vegas Raiders coach last month after The New York Times published details of emails in which he made homophobic, inappropriate and discriminating remarks racist, is suing the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, for what Gruden’s attorneys run for office is a plot to smear his reputation and ruin his career.
The 21-page lawsuit, filed Thursday in Eighth District Court of Justice in Clark County, Nev., alleges the union and Goodell engaged in “a malicious and staged campaign” against Gruden , likening their treatment of the former coach to “a character assassination Soviet type.”
The lawsuit alleges NFL and Goodell intentionally leaked emails to The Times and The Wall Street Journal in the middle of a Raiders season to do “maximum damage” to Gruden. Journal on October 8 was first reported that Gruden, who is white, used racial slurs to denigrate DeMaurice Smith, who is black and the executive director of the NFL Players Association.
When Gruden continued as coach following the Journal’s report, according to the lawsuit, the league “added the pressure” by implying that additional documents would be made public had the Raiders not fired Gruden. The lawsuit alleges NFL then leaked more messages to The Times, published his report on October 11. Gruden resigned within hours.
Jordan Cohen, a spokesman for The Times, said, “In terms of policy, The Times does not discuss its sourcing.” The magazine declined to comment.
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The union discovered these emails during an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against the Washington Soccer Team, which were not directly related to Gruden. The emails were exchanged with former Washington team president Bruce Allen, among others, during Gruden’s time as an ESPN commentator, and before he became the Raiders coach in 2018. In it, he frequently disparages people across the NFL, including Goodell.
Raiders owner Mark Davis told reporters on October 27, when the league’s owners met in New York, that team officials became aware of the emails only when contacted by the Journal. with them. The federation then sent out a series of emails to the Raid gamers. Davis said he wondered why the federation, which had had the emails for months, didn’t share them sooner.
Those emails represent part of about 650,000 messages that were reviewed by the NFL, which determined that the office environment in Washington is “very unprofessional” and subject to frequent bullying and intimidation. Washington was fined $10 million, but the union only released a brief summary of the investigation — not a full accounting.
“There is no explanation or justification for why Gruden’s email was the only one made public of the 650,000 emails collected during the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Soccer Team or why the emails was held for months before being released in mid-Raiders, Adam Hosmer-Henner, one of Gruden’s attorneys, said in a statement.
Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the league, called the allegations “completely futile”.
“The NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” McCarthy said in an email to The Times.
After Gruden stepped down, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – whom he coached to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship, in the 2002 season – removed his name from their Ring of Honor at the Stadium Raymond James. Gruden insulted a member of the Glazer family, which owns the team, in a 2015 text message. Gruden also lost his endorsement contract with apparel and footwear company Skechers and was kicked out of the Madden video game. NFL 22.
He may also have damaged his relationship with one of his former players in the Raiders, Carl Nassib, who in June became the first active NFL player to publicly say he is gay people. Gruden used a derogatory term in writing that Goodell pressured the Rams to recruit Michael Sam, a gay player selected in 2014. Nassib requested a separate date and did not join the Raiders in practice session when the team gathered for the first time after Gruden left.
Gruden apologized in a statement the night he resigned, saying he “never intended to hurt anyone.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/sports/football/gruden-sues-nfl.html Jon Gruden Accuses NFL Of ‘Character Assassination’ In A Lawsuit