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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Legal Matters

NFL files to dismiss Jon Gruden lawsuit, says there were more emails

Jon Gruden smiles

Jon Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL back in November claiming the league intentionally leaked his private emails in order to ruin his career. The NFL immediately responded by denying the allegations, and they have now backed up that denial with a court filing.

The NFL filed a motion to dismiss Gruden’s lawsuit in Nevada this week, according to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. In the filing, the league’s attorneys argue that Gruden sent offensive emails to at least five other recipients besides former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen.

“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’s attorneys wrote in the filing.

The emails that led to Gruden’s resignation leaked as part of an investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team. In one of them, Gruden mocked NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith over the size of his lips. More emails leaked days later in which Gruden used a gay slur and other problematic language.

In the motion to dismiss, the NFL argues that the emails were damaging to both Gruden and the league. The league also says the emails, which it insists were not intentionally leaked, “would have and could have permitted the Commissioner himself to sanction and fire Gruden.”

More than 650,000 emails were reviewed as part of the WFT investigation, but the NFL has reportedly claimed Gruden’s were the only damaging ones.

The lawsuit from Gruden may not be the only one the NFL faces over the situation.

Photo: Aug 18, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden during a joint practice against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports