Jon Gruden To Sue The NFL, Roger Goodell Over Leaked Email Scandal

Jon Gruden and his legal team are responding to the NFL after the head coach was forced to resign over a scandal involving 650,000 leaked emails that incriminated Gruden. The emails have been under the League's watch and as they've denied providing the communications to media outlets, Gruden believes otherwise.

On Thursday, Gruden's team submitted a lawsuit, claiming that the NFL was perpetrating a steady flow of leaked emails to force Gruden's hand in stepping away from the team.

According to the lawsuit, provided by Tom Pelissero: “When their initial salvo did not result in Gruden’s firing or resignation, Defendants ratcheted up the pressure by intimating that further documents would become public if Gruden was not fired. They followed through with this threat by leaking another batch of documents to the New York Times for an October 11, 2021 article. On October 7, 2021, Jon Gruden was the head coach of the Raiders on a 10-year, $100-million contract. By October 11, 2021, he had been forced to resign.”

Also adding, "In contrast to the formalities of the Washington Football Team investigation, defendants’ treatment of Gruden was a Soviet-style character assassination. There was no warning and no process. Defendants held the emails for months until they were leaked to the national media in the middle of the Raiders’ season in order to cause maximum damage to Gruden."

The initial wave of controversial emails occurred on Oct. 8, days leading up to the Raiders' Week 5 matchup against the Chicago Bears. An email, sent by Gruden, contained a description of NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith that many deemed as an insensitive racial troupe.

In the Week 5 post-game interview, Gruden soberly addressed the issue and appeared keen to move on with the weight on his shoulders.

"All I can say is I'm not a racist. I can't tell you how sick I am," Gruden said. "I apologize again to DeMaurice Smith. But I feel good about who I am and what I've done my entire life. I apologize again for the insensitive remarks. I had no racial intentions with those remarks at all."

On Monday, the day after, more Gruden emails were released by The New York Times, which the litigation suspects is a coordinated effort by the NFL to sink Gruden into an escapable controversy.

The second wave of emails displayed use of "homophobic" slurs and sexually insensitive material. Though the bulk of the attention was on Gruden's denouncing of drafting Michael Sam — the NFL's first openly gay player — some of the slurs were directed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, leading many to perceive the unearthed emails as retaliatory action by the commissioner.

Gruden at one point called Goodell a "clueless anti-football p*ssy."

The collection of emails dated back to Gruden's time at ESPN, before he joined the Raiders for his second stint as head coach (2011-2018).

Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen was a recipient of Gruden's controversial messages. Raiders owner Mark Davis has called on the League to provide a written report of Washington's involvement in the matter, but the NFL has so far held off and declared that no other insensitive messaging was found among the remaining 650,000 emails under Goodell's surveillance.

Follow OutKick's Armando Salguero as he provides an in-depth look at the ongoing rift between Gruden and the NFL.

Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

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Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)