Jon Gruden Desperate To Save Face, Suing NFL Over Leaked Emails | Feels He Was “Maliciously” Singled Out

Image Credit: NFL Twitter Screen Shot

Last month former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned following the release of emails which contained racist, homophobic and sexist language.

In the days after his sudden resignation, Gruden and his team of lawyers have mentioned filing a lawsuit against the NFL.

On Friday, that came to fruition as a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Gruden, claiming the league “selectively leaked his emails … to force him out of his job.”

The emails also contained demeaning comments and racial slurs he made concerning Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith (NFLPA Chair) and even some NFL owners.

The lawsuit filed is specifically against the NFL and it’s commissioner Roger Goodell. Gruden’s attorney had this to say about the lawsuit:

“There is really no explanation or justification for why Gruden’s emails were the only ones made public out of the 650,000 emails collected in the NFL’s investigation of the Washington Football Team or why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season.”
The NFL responded to the lawsuit.
“The allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims.”

The emails were transcribed during Gruden’s run as an analyst on “ESPN’s Monday Night Football” from 2011-18.

Jon Gruden, From Hero To Hotwater 

Jon Gruden Keeps Taking L’s After Email Scandal | Loses Ring of Honor And Sponsorships

Gruden made his name on the back of former NFL head coach Tony Dungy, as he was hired to replace Dungy in Tampa Bay in 2002.

Prior to his arrival the Buccaneers were on the doorstep of making the Super Bowl, having come up short in the NFC playoffs in consecutive seasons.

Gruden came in and won the Super Bowl in year one with Dungy’s team. To make things even sweeter, he faced the Oakland Raiders in the penultimate game — a team he had just coached himself (1998-2001).

While Gruden did win quickly in Tampa, it wasn’t really his work. Everyone knows Dungy set the entire foundation for that team.

Gruden Has A History Of Questionable Behavior: Impulsive Personality

When Gruden left ESPN in 2018 to return to the Raiders on a record 10-year and $100 million dollar contract it sent shock waves around the league, especially considering how things ended during his first tenure with the team.

Gruden traded All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack in 2019 stating that Mack would ask for too much money during his impending free agency. Gruden was adamant that he didn’t want to trade the star pass rusher, but had to.

But no way that’s believable with Gruden being known as an offensive coach in an offensive league.

No way he’d be willing to pay the $35 million to $40 million guaranteed to keep Mack, a linebacker. But — get this — per report, Mack didn’t want to be there anyway. Gruden’s vibe wasn’t meshing with Mack’s leadership and personality.

The prevailing belief is that it never was about money. Gruden made the deal more for Mack’s dominant locker room personality than money.

Would he have been willing to part so quickly with a white star player who also had a strong voice in the locker room? That’s very, very doubtful.

One of Gruden’s first personnel moves when taking over the Raiders was getting rid of charismatic Black kicker Marquette King, reportedly because dude had too much swag.

Did Marquette King’s Swag Get Him Cut By Jon Gruden?

Former Buccaneers wide receiver and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson mentioned he saw red flags concerning Gruden when he played for the coach as a member of the Bucs, and had this to say in wake of the email scandal.

“He’s a fraud and a used car salesman.”

Lawsuit Is To Try And Cleanup A Tarnished Image & Recoup Lost Bag

 

Only in America can one make a case to gain from a situation that’s as blatantly offensive as these emails were. But Jon Gruden is a Caucasian man who held one of the most prestigious 32 jobs in all of sports as an NFL coach.

That in itself gives him a chance to have success in this lawsuit. No way should he benefit from such a poor decision that happened over and over again.

Maybe he was singled out, but in the end it’s more about being caught than anything else. He’s pissed off that he’s the only closet racist that was outed and his lawyer basically made that point. If Gruden’s going down, he doesn’t want to go down alone.

He knows that everyone he sent emails too were complicit in this as well and probably used similar language. Unfortunately in America, you’re all good until you get caught, then nobody wants to know you.

Doesn’t matter if you’re Pablo Escobar or Donald Sterling or Jon Gruden. Once your indiscretions come to light, people want to act like they don’t know you because it becomes a reflection on them.

Is Gruden the sacrificial lamb? Sure, but that’s the game and he lost. There aren’t enough lawsuits in the world to change what the public has already seen.

 

Instead of passing the blame, he needs to embrace it and keep it real. He’s never been the kind of guy to run from the smoke. Don’t start now.

 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.