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Ex-Raiders coach Jon Gruden sues NFL, contends emails ‘selectively leaked’

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Las Vegas won 26-17.  Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Las Vegas won 26-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden is suing the National Football League and commissioner Roger Goodell, with his attorney contending emails that led to Gruden’s resignation were “selectively leaked” to “force him out of his job.”

Gruden resigned Oct. 11 after the emails revealed derogatory comments he made about Goodell, players union chief DeMaurice Smith and various team owners as well as statements categorized as racist, misogynistic and homophobic. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported extensively about the content of the emails, which were uncovered as part of the league’s investigation into the operation of the Washington Football Team.

“There is no explanation or justification for why Gruden’s emails were the only ones made public out of the 650,000 emails collected in the NFL’s investigation of the Washington Football Team or why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season,” said Adam Hosmer-Henner, who is representing Gruden, in a statement.

The NFL responded with a statement of its own.

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“The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims,” the league said.

The emails were sent from 2011-18, when Gruden was the analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Gruden signed a 10-year, $100 million contract in 2018 to return to coaching. He had a 22-31 record over the past three-plus seasons in his second stint with the Raiders, including 3-2 this season. He coached the Raiders from 1998-2001, then moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-08. Overall, he has a 117-112 NFL coaching record and led Tampa Bay to its first Super Bowl win in 2002.

The Raiders are 2-1 under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and have a 5-3 overall mark, tying them with the Los Angeles Raiders for the best record in the AFC West.

–Field Level Media