The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Clark County, Nevada District Court.
“The lawsuit 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,” Gruden’s attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner said in a statement. “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 investigation into the Washington Football Team or why the emails were held for months before being released in the midst of the Raiders. ‘season. “
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CNN in a statement, “The allegations are completely pointless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims.”
The suit claims the NFL’s actions led to Gruden suffering from “severe financial damage and damage to his career and reputation.”
Although the source of the leaked emails is unknown, the lawsuit claims they were leaked by the NFL and claims the league deliberately sought to hurt Gruden while other details of the investigation into the Washington football team were kept secret. McCarthy told CNN in October that the league had no plans to release more details of the investigation for confidential reasons.
“Out of 650,000 emails obtained months earlier in connection with the Washington Football Team’s workplace misconduct investigation, Defendants armed a small subset that was written by Gruden prior to his hiring by the Raiders. Defendants then purposefully used these emails to cause the termination. Gruden’s coaching contract, supports and sponsorships, ”says the lawsuit.
An investigation came after allegations against Washington team management
In July, the NFL announced it was fining the Washington organization $ 10 million after an independent investigation found the club’s work environment was “highly unprofessional,” especially for women.
The fine came after 15 former employees and two journalists who covered the team accused team members of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. The club launched an investigation last July, which the NFL took over in August.
In October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used racially insensitive language to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email.
Then the New York Times reported that it was reviewing more emails and found that Gruden had denounced women being hired as field officials, a team drafting an openly gay player, and the tolerance for national anthem protesters.
Many of Gruden’s emails, covering a seven-year period, were sent to Bruce Allen, the then president of the Washington team, who was fired in December 2019, according to The Times.
A league source, just before Gruden resigned, confirmed the accuracy of the Times’ story to CNN.
Gruden was one of the NFL’s highest-paid coaches, signing a 10-year, $ 100 million contract with the Raiders, according to salary tracking website Spotrac.
He first coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001, then won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Pirates in 2002. At the time, Gruden was 39 and then, the youngest coach to win the Super Bowl.
He left the Bucs in 2008 and became a football analyst for ESPN and his messages were sent while he worked for ESPN as a color analyst during “Monday Night Football,” the Times reported.