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#pounditWednesday, December 7, 2022

NFL lawyers make accusation about Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has seemingly implemented a new strategy in its ongoing legal battle with Jon Gruden.

Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL a month after he was forced to resign as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders last October. The resignation was the result of damaging emails being leaked as part of the league’s investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Commanders. Gruden’s attorneys have argued that the NFL intentionally leaked the emails to force Gruden out.

According to David Charns of 8 News Now in Las Vegas, court documents that were filed last week indicate that the NFL is looking to prove that Gruden was employed by the league at the time some of the derogatory and vulgar emails were sent.

“In several places, Gruden’s proposed order states that the emails were ‘sent between 2011 and 2018, during which time Gruden was not working as a coach in the NFL but as an employee of ESPN,” lawyers for the NFL said in the court filing. “Gruden’s claim (and purported finding of fact) on the timing of his emails is, in reality, very much disputed by the NFL parties and in fact false. Discovery — necessary to make any finding of fact on this issue — will show that Gruden continued to send the same kinds of derogatory emails consistently following his start date with the Raiders.”

The NFL is aiming to settle the Gruden lawsuit through arbitration, arguing that he was an employee of the league. Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, said in a statement on Monday that the initial complaint is about the NFL selectively leaking Gruden’s emails when the Washington investigation included more than 650,000 emails.

“In fact, their own attorney conceded during the hearing that the emails were sent before Jon Gruden signed with the Raiders. The NFL has tried to avoid discovery from the start, not Jon Gruden,” Hosmer-Henner said. “This is just another attempt by the NFL and Commissioner Goodell to save face by attacking Jon Gruden while still not owning up the truth of their actions. Jon isn’t going to try to hide from his deposition, is the commissioner?”

The emails, which contained gay slurs and other inappropriate content, were published in a New York Times story. They were sent between 2011-2018, when Gruden was with ESPN.

Gruden, 58, has already scored one big legal victory against the NFL.

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