The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell issued their response to the lawsuit filed by Jon Gruden, who resigned as the Raiders head coach in October after offensive email correspondences surfaced.
The league issued two motions in a Nevada state court on Wendesday– One to move Gruden’s lawsuit to arbitration the other to dismiss the lawsuit all together.
The NFL argues that under the clear terms of Gruden’s employment contract and the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws to which Gruden is bound,” that the matters belong in arbitration.
The disgraced Gruden resigned from his position with the Raiders in October after internal email exchanges with former Washington GM Bruce Allen and others, which contained vulgar content, were were published in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
“Gruden sent a variety of similarly abhorrent emails to a half dozen recipients over a seven-year period, in which he denounced `the emergence of women as referees,’ and frequently used homophobic and sexist slurs to refer to Commissioner Goodell, then-Vice President Joseph Biden, a gay professional football player drafted in 2014, and others,” the NFL wrote in a motion filed at a Nevada state court on Wednesday.
The former Raiders coach sued the NFL on Nov. 11, arguing that the league leaked the emails to get back at him because of offensive topics he discussed in the exchanges, including commissioner Goodell. Gruden’s lawyers claimed that the league’s treatment towards the former Raiders coach was a “Soviet-style character assassination.”
The league’s lawyers also called Gruden’s lawsuit a “baseless attempt” to blame NFL leaders for the backlash following the public release of the emails.
“He does not, and cannot, dispute that he sent those emails to multiple parties. Nor does he claim that they were somehow altered or edited and that the repugnant views espoused in them were not in fact expressed by him,” the NFL wrote in the motion. “Instead, Gruden filed the instant Complaint against the NFL and the Commissioner, painting himself as the victim in a fictional story and seeking money through baseless claims against the NFL.”
“To the extent that Jon Gruden suffered any damage, he has no one to blame but himself.”
The league additionally addressed Gruden’s claims that the NFL ‘leaked’ the email exchanges, and explained that Goodell would’ve had to fire Gruden anyway. Gruden will now have an opportunity to respond to these motions filed and the case will be handed in a Nevada state court.
“The crux of Gruden’s Complaint is that somehow the NFL or the Commissioner `leaked’ his non-confidential emails (which were already sitting in the hands of Gruden’s many recipients and as to which Gruden had no colorable expectation of privacy) to, for some inexplicable reason, destroy his career and ruin his reputation, despite the fact that the emails precipitated numerous media stories critical of the League, and also negatively impacted the League and the Raiders in the middle of the football season,” the NFL wrote, and “would have and could have permitted the Commissioner himself to sanction and fire Gruden.”
The saga continues.