NFL files to dismiss lawsuit from disgraced coach forced to resign over homophobic emails
The National Football League (NFL) has filed to dismiss former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit regarding the leak of his homophobic, misogynistic and racist emails.
In one of them, Gruden called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “f****t” and “clueless anti-football p***y”.
He also criticised Goodell for supposedly pressuring the St Louis Rams – which drafted openly gay player Michael Sam in 2014 – to hire “queers”.
Jon Gruden was working as an ESPN commentator at the time before rejoining the Raiders on a 10-year deal in 2018. He had previously worked as coach of the Raiders, who were located in Oakland at the time, from 1998 to 2001.
A new filing in Nevada state court saw the NFL argue that Gruden’s lawsuit shouldn’t go to court because they claimed to have evidence that the disgraced coach sent messages featuring hate-filled language to at least six people.
It had previously been reported that offensive language had only been used in the messages sent to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen.
The NFL’s legal team suggested that league commissioner Roger Goodell would have unilaterally fired Gruden due to the messages if the former coach hadn’t resigned.
A hearing will be held on the motions filed by the NFL and Jon Gruden on 23 February.
According to The Athletic, the filing read: “Jon 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.”
However, Gruden filed to sue the league in November and claimed that the emails were leaked in order to hurt him because of offensive things he had written about Goodell.
The NFL fought back again this claim in their filing as they wrote: “This action – brought by Jon Gruden to blame anyone but himself for the fallout from the publication of racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails that he wrote and broadly circulated – belongs in arbitration under the clear terms of Gruden’s employment contract and the NFL’s constitution and bylaws to which Gruden is bound.”