LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden has sued Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL, alleging that a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” was used to destroy Gruden’s career by leaking old offensive emails from Gruden.
The suit was filed in district court in Clark County, Nevada, on Thursday, exactly a month after Gruden resigned as Raiders coach following the publication of his emails by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
The emails sent to former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen from 2011 to 2018 during Gruden’s time as an announcer at ESPN included racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments. They came from a set of 650,000 emails obtained during an investigation into the workplace culture of the Washington Football Team.
Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, said in a statement 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.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy denied the charges.
“The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” McCarthy said.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 8 that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith. Gruden then resigned three days later, less than halfway through the fourth year of his 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders, after the New York Times revealed additional offensive emails.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said last month that he had reached a settlement with Gruden over the final six-plus years of his contract. Davis did not reveal the terms of the settlement.
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