Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden files lawsuit vs. NFL, Commissioner Goodell

Jon Gruden, who resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 11, filed a lawsuit against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday in Clark County (Nev.) District Court, alleging that the accused parties sought to ruin his career by releasing private emails in which Gruden used racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms.

“Through a malicious and orchestrated campaign, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell sought to destroy the career and reputation of Jon Gruden,” the introduction of the lawsuit, obtained by NFL Media, reads.

Gruden is seeking “the recovery of money in excess of $15,000.00” in each of seven causes of action.

Gruden stepped down from his position as Raiders head coach following the release of articles in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times that detailed his aforementioned emails ranging from 2010 to 2018. 

The NFL released a statement, categorizing the lawsuit’s claims as disreputable.

“The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a Friday statement obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, also released a statement:

“Jon Gruden has filed suit against the National Football League and Commissioner Goodell in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada. 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.”

Within the 21-page lawsuit, it is stated that Gruden was “forced to resign.”

The causes of action listed in the suit are as follows: intentional interference with contractual relations; tortious interference with prospective economic advantage; negligence; negligent hiring; negligent supervision; civil conspiracy; and aiding and abetting.

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