It has taken a couple of months but the NFL has finally responded to Jon Gruden's lawsuit. Gruden claims that the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Gooddell, deliberately made his correspondence public in a "malicious and orchestrated attack."
Now the NFL has fired back. It has laid out all the reasons it believes that Jon Gruden's case does not have merit and has asked the court in Nevada to dismiss it.
"The complaint - a baseless attempt by Jon Gruden to blame the NFL and its Commissioner for the fallout from the publication of racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails that Gruden wrote and broadly circulated - should be dismissed for failure to state a single viable cause of action."
The points that the NFL put out against Jon Gruden
The NFL's stated position for why they believe Jon Gruden does not have a case stems from three main points.
The first is that they believe Jon Gruden should have any expectation of privacy with regards to his emails. They say that the contents of what has come out cannot be debated as they are unaltered and unedited.
"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. 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."
The second point of contention is that even though Jon Gruden's emails to Bruce Allen were revealed, he sent similar emails to five other people, thereby making the case for selective leaking against him moot since the others were never made public.
"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 third line of defense that the league has taken is that the league itself was hurt by the whole scenario and therefore had no reason to make his emails public (selectively). It also pointed out that it was its franchise, the Raiders, was negatively impacted the most in this scandal.
"The crux of Gruden's Complaint is that somehow the NFL or the Commissioner 'leaked' his non-confidential emails (which were already sitting in the hands of Gruden's many recipients and as to which Gruden had no colorable expectation of privacy) to, for some inexplicable reason, destroy his career and ruin his reputation, despite the fact that the emails precipitated numerous media stories critical of the League, and also negatively impacted the League and the Raiders in the middle of the football season."
What the case finally brings will be up to the courts. But now shots from both sides have been fired and it is clear that no one is backing down from their position.
The case is expected to be heard on February 23, 2022.