It took more than two months, but the NFL has finally responded to the lawsuit that was filed by Jon Gruden in the state of Nevada.
Back in November, the former Raiders coach filed a lawsuit against Roger Goodell and the NFL alleging "that the defendants selectively leaked Gruden's private correspondence to The Wall Street Journal and New York Times in order to harm Gruden's reputation and force him out of his job."
In a response to the lawsuit, the NFL vehemently shot down Gruden's claims that the league leaked the emails or intended to do him any harm. Gruden resigned as Raiders coach Oct. 11 after a series of leaked emails came out. In one email, he used a racial trope to criticize NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. In another email, he used a profanity to describe Goodell.
The NFL is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Here are a few of the points that the league made in its response to the case:
- Gruden shouldn't have had any expectation of privacy with his emails. "Gruden does not, and cannot, dispute that he wrote the published emails. He does not, and cannot, dispute that he sent those emails to multiple parties," the league's filing said, via the AP. "Nor does he claim that they were somehow altered or edited and that the repugnant views espoused in them were not in fact expressed by him. Instead, Gruden filed the instant complaint against the NFL and the commissioner, painting himself as the victim in a fictional story and seeking money through baseless claims against the NFL."
- Gruden sent offensive messages to at least six people. We know Gruden sent several emails to former Washington team president Bruce Allen, but apparently, he sent offensive emails to at least five other people. "Gruden sent a variety of similarly abhorrent emails to a half dozen recipients over a seven-year period, in which he denounced `the emergence of women as referees,' and frequently used homophobic and sexist slurs to refer to Commissioner Goodell, then-Vice President Joseph Biden, a gay professional football player drafted in 2014, and others," the league wrote, via The Athletic.
- The leaked emails didn't just hurt Gruden, they also hurt the NFL. "The crux of Gruden's Complaint is that somehow the NFL or the Commissioner 'leaked' his non-confidential emails (which were already sitting in the hands of Gruden's many recipients and as to which Gruden had no colorable expectation of privacy) to, for some inexplicable reason, destroy his career and ruin his reputation, despite the fact that the emails precipitated numerous media stories critical of the League, and also negatively impacted the League and the Raiders in the middle of the football season."
It will be interesting to see where this case goes next. Of course, if the NFL gets its way, the case won't be going anywhere because it will be getting dismissed.
Gruden is seeking an unspecified amount of money in the case, based on seven different claims. The league has said from the beginning that it believes the case is "entirely meritless."