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Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden wins two early legal battles vs. NFL as judge denies motions

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Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden scored a couple of victories in a Nevada court Wednesday, as Judge Nancy Allf denied the NFL‘s motions to dismiss his lawsuit against the league, and to force the issue into arbitration, per Front Office Sports. The Super Bowl winning head coach alleges that the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell created “a malicious and orchestrated campaign” to leak inappropriate emails sent by him between 2010 and 2018.

The NFL issued a statement to FOS following the court’s ruling Wednesday, stating that neither the league nor Goodell leaked Gruden’s emails to the media.

“We believe Coach Gruden’s claims should have been compelled to arbitration, 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.”

Gruden resigned from his position as head coach of the Raiders in October after several damning emails were reported by media. In emails that were recovered during the league’s investigation into the Washington Football Team, the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racial trope to criticize NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in 2011. Just days later, The New York Times reported other emails contained homophobic, misogynistic and sexist insults — ultimately forcing Gruden’s resignation.

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“Defendants leaked a carefully curated selection of Gruden’s emails, sent years before the Raiders hired him, to its customary outlets for leaking information to the media: the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times,” Gruden’s attorneys wrote in a March filing, per FOS. “Defendants then purposefully leveraged these emails to force Gruden to resign, and ultimately caused Gruden to lose his coaching career, endorsements, and sponsorships.”

Judge Allf denying the NFL’s motion to send the dispute into arbitration is a significant development. This means that not only will the case remain in court, but that a trial could lead to who specifically was behind the leak, and the potential unearthing of other unflattering information. 

“We are going to let the process take care of itself,” Gruden said outside the courtroom. “Good luck to the Raiders. Go Raiders. I don’t have anything [else] to comment on. This process will take care of itself. It’s good to be back in Vegas. I am going to see friends tonight.”


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