The NFL filed a motion in a Nevada court on Wednesday seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by ex-Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden over leaked emails that preceded his exit from the team.
In the motion filed in district court in the Clark County District Court, the league described Gruden’s suit as “baseless” and accused him of “painting himself as the victim in a fictional story.”
Gruden filed his lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell in November accusing them of attempting to destroy his career through a “malicious and orchestrated campaign.”
Gruden resigned midseason after leaked emails showed that he used anti-gay and misogynist language in correspondence with former Washington Football Team executive Bruce Allen and others around the league. The emails were part of a trove of more than 650,000 that the league reviewed in an investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team. Another email showed Gruden using racist language in reference to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.
Gruden accused the NFL of leaking the emails, which were reported by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Gruden resigned within hours of the New York Times report on Oct. 11. He was in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100 million contract when he resigned. Team owner Mark Davis announced in October that the Raiders reached an undisclosed settlement with Gruden for the remainder of his contract.
The league denied leaking the emails in Wednesday’s motion while chiding his “repugnant” views.
“Gruden does not, and cannot, dispute that he wrote the published emails,” the motion reads, per the Associated Press. “He does not, and cannot, dispute that he sent those emails to multiple parties. 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.”
The league also filed a separate motion on Wednesday seeking to compel arbitration in the dispute.
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