Jon Gruden sued the NFL, Roger Goodell, saying they forced him out of the Las Vegas Raiders job

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HENDERSON, Nev. Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden is suing the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of his private emails being leaked during an investigation by the Washington Football Team.

Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner of McDonald Carano, said in a statement that the case was brought before the Eighth District Court in Clark County, Nevada.

“The complaint alleges that the defendants selectively leaked Gruden’s private correspondence to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to damage Gruden’s reputation and force him out of his job,” Hosmer-Henner said. “There is no explanation or justification as to why Gruden’s emails were the only ones published out of the 650,000 emails collected in the NFL’s Washington Football Team survey, or why emails were kept for several months. , before they were released in the middle of the Raiders’ season. “

The lawsuit says the NFL pressured the Raiders to dismiss Gruden and “suggested that additional documents would become public if Gruden was not fired.” According to the case, Gruden lost a sponsorship deal with Skechers and was pulled from appearing in the Madden NFL 2022 video game, just as he was harmed by future employment and approval prospects.

Gruden demands unspecified compensation for seven claims as well as criminal statements and attorneys’ fees.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy called Gruden’s allegations “completely unprofitable” and said the league “will vigorously defend itself against those allegations.”

Emails containing racist, anti-gay, and misogynistic language spanned a seven-year period that began in 2011 when Gruden worked for ESPN as an analyst at Monday Night Football.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on October 8 that Gruden had used a race trope to describe the NFL Players Association’s CEO, DeMaurice Smith. Gruden apologized, and two days later a dull Raiders team lost at home to the Chicago Bears.

On October 11, The New York Times reported on many more problematic emails sent by Gruden. He resigned the same evening, apologized again and said he had never intended to hurt anyone.

Gruden’s messages were revealed from a set of 650,000 emails that were part of the NFL’s investigation into allegations of workplace dishonesty against the Washington Football Team. They were sent by Gruden to then-Washington President Bruce Allen and others.

Gruden has been silent in public since his departure as the Raiders have gone 2-1 under interim coach Rich Bisaccia and host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Gruden, who originally coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – with whom he beat the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII – was with ESPN from 2009 to 2017. He returned to the Raiders in 2018 on a 10-year contract worth $ 100 million.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said last month that he had reached a settlement with Gruden over the last six years of his contract. Davis did not disclose the terms of the settlement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.