Cancel culture is lurking around the corner for anyone.
People who are targeted by the cancel mob often watch their lives get destroyed and fade away.
But one “canceled” NFL coach is about to exact his revenge against the league.
Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden had his reputation demolished after hit pieces from The Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
The papers published private emails that he sent over a decade ago when he was out of football and broadcasting for ESPN.
The private emails featured insensitive comments between him and a friend.
The emails surfaced during an investigation into the Washington Commanders amid allegations of sexism and misconduct in the front office.
Gruden believes he was personally targeted by the NFL because his emails were the only ones flagged out of hundreds of thousands scoured by the league.
Gruden sued the league, and now he will likely get his day in court.
“ A hearing on whether former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell will be done through arbitration or heard at trial here is set for May 25, court records show. Oral arguments are expected to be heard from both sides in the hearing in front of Judge Nancy Allf. Gruden, who filed suit in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada, on Nov. 12, had resigned as coach on Oct. 11 in the wake of his email scandal…”
Gruden apologized for the emails, but it wasn’t enough to weather the storm.
There was clearly an agenda to take him out.
Gruden is no fan of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, which was communicated in one of the emails.
Considering Gruden’s emails, when he was not even a member of an NFL team, were the only ones picked out in a sea of emails is quite hard to believe.
Gruden alleges in the lawsuit:
“When their initial salvo did not result in Gruden’s firing or resignation, Defendants ratcheted up the pressure by intimating that further documents would become public if Gruden was not fired. They followed through with this threat by leaking another batch of documents to the New York Times for an October 11, 2021 article. On October 7, 2021, Jon Gruden was the head coach of the Raiders on a 10-year, $100-million contract. By October 11, 2021, he had been forced to resign.”
Trickling out the damaging leaks is a common media tactic.
The idea is to get the person to apologize and say they did nothing else wrong, then release more damning material.
The lawsuit also alleges:
“In contrast to the formalities of the Washington Football Team investigation, defendants’ treatment of Gruden was a Soviet-style character assassination. There was no warning and no process. Defendants held the emails for months until they were leaked to the national media in the middle of the Raiders’ season in order to cause maximum damage to Gruden.”
Gruden seems to have a decent argument because the targeting and coordinated leaks clearly seem orchestrated.
The hurdle will be finding proof and convincing a judge that damages are appropriate.