The NFL recently reached a due date to respond to a lawsuit issued by former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. As anticipated, the league has responded and firmly asserted its position by denying all allegations mentioned within the lawsuit.
According to NFL insider Mark Maske of The Washington Post, here is how the league responded:
"To be sure, the NFL and the Commissioner did not leak Gruden's emails.
"Even if the NFL Parties had made the disclosures — which they did not — providing truthful and accurate information to the press cannot constitute intentional interference under settled law."
In summary, the league made it clear who was at fault for the resignation of the coach and its aftermath.
"In sum," the NFL response continued, "to the extent that Jon Gruden suffered any damage, he has no one to blame but himself. For the reasons set forth above and in detail below, the Complaint should be dismissed in its entirety."
This is in response to a claim from the former Raiders head coach that the NFL forced his resignation from the Raiders because they threatened to leak additional documents if he was not fired by franchise owner Mark Davis.
With the statement above, the NFL maintains that even if they were responsible for the leaks (which they were not), there would still be no merit or grounds for the lawsuit to stand.
The NFL also stated that there was no need to force a resignation because the league was well within its right to cancel Gruden's contract:
"[...they themselves] had the right to cancel Gruden's contract :the NFL Constitution grants the Commissioner the ‘complete authority to... [s]uspend and/or fine’ or ‘[c]ancel any contract or agreement’ of any ‘coach’ ‘[w]henever the Commissioner, after notice and hearing, decides” the coach “has either violated the Constitution and Bylaws of the League or has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football."
Jon Gruden's tumultuous season continues
The downspiral of the former Las Vegas Raiders head coach began when an investigation into the Washington Football Team's unethical practices and unsavory behavior began. The computer servers of the WFT revealed emails between Gruden and former WFT employee Bruce Allen.
The emails from Gruden were racist and misogynistic racist in nature and were among over 600,000 that were obtained by attorney Beth Wilkinson.
Wilkinson was hired by the NFL to investigate accusations of sexual harassment by WFT employees against the team and team owner Dan Snyder.
Once the news and the emails were made public by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Gruden resigned before there was even an opportunity for Davis to fire him.
In early October, he released the following brief statement announcing his resignation from the team:
"I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone."
Despite the upheaval in the coaching position and serious issues involving former Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs (who was arrested after DUI resulting in a fatality) and former Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette (who made death threats on social media while brandishing guns), the team was still able to get to the AFC Wild Card round of the playoffs.
They lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 26-19.