Previous reports had focused on emails involving Gruden between 2011 and 2018 when he worked for ESPN before returning to the Raiders. Gruden resigned in October following reports that he used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in those emails.
Judge denies NFL motions to dismiss Jon Gruden lawsuit, move it to arbitration
“Gruden even claims in his proposed order that it is ‘undisputed that all conduct of Gruden referenced by the NFL parties occurred prior to the signing of the agreement and although Gruden was not an employee of the Raiders or the NFL,” attorneys for the league wrote in last week’s filing. “Gruden’s claim (and alleged fact finding) about the timing of his emails is, in fact, much the NFL parties and in fact false.The discovery – necessary to draw a finding of fact on this issue – will show that Gruden continued to send the same types of derogatory emails after his start date with the Raiders.
The NFL declined further comment Wednesday through a spokesperson.
“The NFL did not make these unsubstantiated arguments in the motions it has already lost and will not be able to make them if it appeals,” Adam Hosmer-Henner, Gruden’s attorney, said in a statement Wednesday. . “In fact, their own attorney admitted during the hearing that the emails were sent before Jon Gruden signed with the Raiders. The NFL tried to avoid discovery from the start, not Jon Gruden. That is just another attempt by the NFL and Commissioner Goodell to save face by attacking Jon Gruden while not acknowledging the truth of their actions. Jon isn’t going to try to hide from his deposition, is- isn’t it the commissioner?”
The emails that came to light last year were sent to former Washington NFL team president Bruce Allen and others. They were gathered as part of the NFL’s investigation overseen by attorney Beth Wilkinson into the Washington team’s workplace.
Gruden filed a lawsuit in November, accusing the NFL and Goodell of using leaked emails to “publicly sabotage” his career and pressure him to quit.
The league and Goodell asked the court in January to dismiss the lawsuit. The NFL said it did not disclose the emails that led to Gruden’s resignation and maintained that Gruden ‘has no one to blame but himself’ for any damages he suffered. The league then wrote that Gruden “primarily bears the risk” that his emails may be “possessed and distributed” by the Washington team, among others.
In May, District Judge Nancy L. Allf allowed Gruden’s lawsuit to continue, denying the NFL’s separate motions to dismiss the case or force it into arbitration.
The Raiders did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday on last week’s court filing.
Tanya Snyder, the co-CEO of the Commanders who has controlled the day-to-day operations of the franchise since July 2021, told fellow owners at a league meeting in New York in October that the leaks were not from her or her husband, Daniel Snyder, the principal owner of the franchise, said several people familiar with the situation at the time.
An investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has found evidence that Daniel Snyder and members of his legal team conducted a ‘shadow investigation’ and compiled a ‘dossier’ targeting former team employees, their lawyers and reporters in an effort to discredit his accusers and shift blame following allegations of widespread misconduct in the team’s workplace. The committee’s investigation also found that Snyder had hired private investigators and attorneys to unearth inappropriate emails and evidence aimed at convincing the NFL and Wilkinson that Allen was primarily responsible for any problems in the workplace.
The committee detailed its findings in a memo in June.
Snyder gave a voluntary sworn statement to the committee remotely for more than 10 hours in late July.