HomeSportsFormer Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden’s Lawsuit Against NFL Moves Forward After Court Ruling

Former Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden’s Lawsuit Against NFL Moves Forward After Court Ruling

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a Nevada judge ruled in court that former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden can proceed with his lawsuit against the NFL. The ruling in favor of Gruden’s lawsuit means there is a possibility of a jury trial to determine his “tortious interference” claim. The former coach is accusing the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell of selectively leaking emails that led to his midseason resignation.

After the Raiders removed Jon Gruden from his coaching position on Oct. 11, the 58-year-old admitted he may seek legal action against the league. He initially filed his lawsuit one month later on Nov. 12 in Clark County, Nevada. The NFL moved to have his lawsuit dismissed outright. Yet, Judge Nancy L. Allf denied the league’s motion for both arbitration and outright dismissal. Unless a settlement is reached, the lawsuit will now go to trial. Following Allf’s ruling, the NFL shared a statement on the matter revealing their plans to appeal the decision.

“We believe Coach Gruden’s claims should have been compelled to arbitration,” the NFL’s statement says, according to ESPN. “And we will file an appeal of the Court’s determination. The Court’s denial of our motion to dismiss is not a determination on the merits of Coach Gruden’s lawsuit, which, as we have said from the outset, lacks a basis in law and fact and proceeds from a false premise — neither the NFL nor the Commissioner leaked Coach Gruden’s offensive emails.”

Jon Gruden Speaks on Lawsuit Against NFL Following Wednesday’s Ruling

Wednesday, Jon Gruden sat in court while his attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner made his oral arguments. Lawyer Kannon Shanmugam represented the NFL during the court hearing. Following Judge Allf’s ruling, reporters briefly caught up with the head coach who didn’t have much to say. He’s letting things play out in the legal system and said he was happy to be back in the state of Nevada.

“I’m just going to let the process take care of itself,” Gruden said after leaving the courtroom. “It’s good to be back in Vegas. I’m going to see some friends tonight. Go Raiders.”

Gruden resigned last season after leaked emails came out that included what many perceived as racist, anti-gay, and misogynistic language. During proceedings, Shanmugam called some of the language “not fit to be repeated in a public courtroom.” According to Gruden and his lawsuit against the NFL, they say the league leaked his emails to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. They claim the NFL attempted to “harm Gruden’s reputation and force him out of his job.”

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

In court on Wednesday, Hosmer-Henner said that Goodell contacted the Raiders over Gruden’s emails. Gruden’s lawyer alleged that the commissioner threatened to release further inappropriate emails if the organization didn’t fire the head coach. When asked about the situation last October, Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN, “Ask the NFL. They have all the answers.”

According to Judge Allf, there is no timeline for the next court hearing as the lawsuit moves forward.