Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders last month amidst backlash over a slew of homophobic, racist and misogynistic excerpts were found in emails he sent over the better part of the last decade.
After feeling he was wrongfully forced out of his job, the ex-coach is suing the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell.
The emails, interestingly enough, were uncovered as part of an investigation into the Washington Football Team and workplace misconduct within the organization.
The lawsuit was filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada, and Gruden states that he was essentially witch-hunted, saying he was the victim of a ‘soviet-style character assassination’. The league decided to not release any other emails uncovered in the investigation, and though Gruden’s suit won’t result in him getting his job back, it may be able to shed light on the contents of the remaining emails.
“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,” Hosmer-Henner said. “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.”
Per ESPN, The lawsuit says the NFL pressured the Raiders to terminate Gruden and “intimated that further documents would become public if Gruden was not fired.” According to the suit, Gruden lost a sponsorship deal with Skechers and was pulled from appearing in the Madden NFL 2022 video game, as well as having future employment and endorsement prospects damaged.
Gruden is seeking unspecified damages on seven claims as well as punitive awards and attorneys’ fees.