Why is Jon Gruden suing the NFL? Former Raiders coach files lawsuit

Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden
Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden
Son Trinh

Jon Gruden is no longer the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. He is suing the NFL just a month after being fired. On Friday, reports indicated that Gruden had filed a lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Details of the lawsuit, filed in Nevada state court, state that Jon Gruden was “forced to resign.”

“When [the NFL’s] initial salvo did not result in Gruden’s firing or resignation, Defendants ratcheted up the pressure by intimating that further documents would become public if Gruden was not fired,” the lawsuit states. “They followed through with this threat by leaking another batch of documents to the New York Times for an October 11, 2021 article. On October 7, 2021, Jon Gruden was the head coach of the Raiders on a 10-year, $100-million contract. By October 11, 2021, he had been forced to resign.”

The lawsuit states that Jon Gruden is seeking damages on 7 claims including punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Reports of the lawsuit claim that out of the 650,000 emails collected by the NFL during the investigation, Gruden’s emails were the only ones that went public.

Interestingly, if the Raiders were also named as defendants along with the NFL, then the league would not be able to remove Gruden’s lawsuit from state court to federal court. This sort of move is advantageous and common for out-of-state parties who wish to avoid “home cooking” from state judges.

Former #Raiders coach Jon Gruden is suing the NFL and Roger Goodell in Nevada district court, alleging they sought to destroy Gruden’s career and reputation through a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” that led to his resignation last month, Gruden’s attorney tells me.
Gruden’s lawsuit refers to it as “a Soviet-style character assassination. There was no warning and no process. Defendants held the emails for months until they were leaked to the national media in the middle of the Raiders’ season ... to cause maximum damage to Gruden.”

Jon Gruden emails scandal: Ex-Raiders coach was fired during WFT investigation

In the course of a separate investigation into the Washington Football Team’s workplace culture, the investigation also uncovered several emails that Jon Gruden wrote to former Football Team executive Bruce Allen. Gruden’s emails to Allen were racist, misogynistic, and homophobic. The New York Times published the contents of these emails on October 11, 2021.

Hours after the article was released, Jon Gruden stepped down as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Now the former coach is fighting back and claiming that “the truth will come out.” Gruden’s lawsuit against the NFL may reveal more details into the Washington Football Team’s investigation and also reveal who leaked Gruden’s email and why they leaked them.

In his career as head coach, Jon Gruden has 117 wins to 112 losses for a .511 win percentage. In his second stint with the Raiders (2018 - 2021), he had a record of 22-31.

Meanwhile, the Raiders are currently 5-3 and share 1st place in the AFC West division.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar


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