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Former NFL coach Jon Gruden filed a lawsuit last month against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell after he lost his job as head coach of the Raiders for emails he sent over a decade ago. Gruden called the ousting a “Soviet-style character assassination.”
Brent Musburger seems to agree. During a radio call for the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, Musburger detailed his initial conversation with Gruden upon learning that the vultures had gotten to Gruden.
“As I told Coach, whoever took you out, Jon, that was a paid assassin,” Musburger said during a Las Vegas Sports Network with JT the Brick. “That was one of the best hit jobs that I’ve ever been around. They didn’t go to their media g——-. They didn’t leak this to Adam Schefter or one of those guys that breaks stories.
“They first went to the Wall Street Journal. And when Gruden was still coaching after that, then they dumped the rest of it on the New York Times. That was a professional hit job.”
Musburger is right to wonder about the shadiness of the chain of events, which includes two prestigious newspapers using their megaphones against Gruden just days apart.
A story gets out when someone wants that story to get out, and clearly someone wanted Gruden’s emails to be made public because he or she knew they would ruin him. It worked.
So Gruden’s accusations are likely accurate. However, Musburger says it will be a challenge to prove that an NFL official leaked the information about Gruden in court:
“There was a second lawsuit involved, OK? Between the owner, [Daniel] Snyder of Washington, and a former general manager. And that means that a lot of outside people had access to those emails that they were going through. So I think the hardest part for Gruden’s lawyers to prove is that somebody from the National Football League actually leaked that. Because if it is somebody from the NFL, shame on them. Because Mark Davis should have been told in the summer, when he had something to do about it.”
Oh, and, yes — the person who leaked Gruden’s emails likely has a homophobic history of their own. That’s how cancel culture works: those most ashamed of their own past ease their guilt by attacking others. It’s a sick but effective strategy.