Jon Gruden suing NFL, Roger Goodell over Raiders resignation


Jon Gruden resigned from the Las Vegas Raiders but he is not resigned to go away quietly.

Friday, Gruden filed a suit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, accusing them of “selectively leaking” the racist, homophobic and sexist emails he sent to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen.

The emails, which were published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in October, directly led to his resignation.

“Jon Gruden has filed suit agains the National Football League and Commissioner Goodell in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada,” Gruden’s attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner wrote in a statement. “The complaint alleges that the defendants selectively leaked Gruden’s private correspondence to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in order to harm Gruden’s reputation and force him out of his job.

“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 for why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season.”

Jon Gruden and Roger Goodell
Jon Gruden filed suit agains the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday.
Getty Images; AP Photo

The league denied the allegations.

“The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.

Gruden’s emails were part of an NFL investigation into the workplace culture of the Washington franchise. The team was fined $10 million, and team owner Dan Snyder’s wife, Tanya Snyder, was installed as co-CEO.

The messages were sent before he became coach of the Raiders and was an ESPN analyst. They included calling Goodell a “f—-t” who shouldn’t have pressured former Rams head coach Jeff Fisher into drafting “queers,” a reference to their seventh round selection of Michael Sam.

Gruden also used racial stereotypes to describe NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith. “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin [sic] tires,” and responded to a meme of a female referee with “nice job roger.” He wrote that Panthers defensive back Eric Reid should have been fired for kneeling during the national anthem. 

A day after the emails were published, Gruden resigned as coach of the Raiders.

“I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” he said on Oct. 11. “Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

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