The case of former Raiders HC Jon Gruden‘s lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell has taken another turn. The league has filed for the suit to be dismissed, according to a report from Daniel Kaplan of the Athletic.
[Related: Jon Gruden Sues NFL, Roger Goodell]
Kaplan notes that the league has actually moved for the case to be taken to arbitration in Nevada state court first, and asked for it to be dismissed pending its decision on arbitration. The league’s written response to Gruden’s suit states that “Gruden sent a variety of similarly abhorrent emails to a half dozen recipients over a seven-year period” besides those sent to former WFT president Bruce Allen. Like those emails, which led to Gruden’s resignation in October, these other ones “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 response also comments on claims alleging the league leaked the damning emails as a way to get revenge against Gruden due to his remarks against the commissioner. As reported by Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, the league responded that Gruden “primarily assumed the risk that his emails could be circulated beyond the original recipient group, and possessed and distributed by the WFT, NFL and others”. It continues, “to be sure, the NFL and the commissioner did not leak Gruden’s emails”.
The motion details how Goodell had grounds to fire Gruden outright, given the fact that the nature of his emails were detrimental to the league. For that reason, it states, no one at the league office had a motivation to “publicly sabotage Gruden’s career”, as the original lawsuit claims. Instead, it argues, the suit “should be dismissed in its entirety”.
No further developments (such as if the case will proceed to court) will be able to take place until the aforementioned arbitration decision is made.