The NFL continues to be riddled with scandal.
The league has experienced a bounce back with stadiums full and fans not being inundated with “woke” messaging.
But the NFL just got sued by the last person they expected.
The last five years have been a disaster for the NFL in terms of public relations.
The league has had to deal with anti-American anthem protests, head trauma lawsuits, and burdensome COVID restrictions, empty stadiums, and “woke” political gestures that divided the fan base.
Now the NFL has to deal with a lawsuit from former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
Recently, Gruden was forced to step down after a cache of embarrassing private mails were leaked to the public, presumably by the league.
But Gruden is suing the league for targeted harassment.
“Jon Gruden and his legal team are responding to the NFL after the head coach was forced to resign over a scandal involving 650,000 leaked emails that incriminated Gruden. The emails have been under the League’s watch and as they’ve denied providing the communications to media outlets, Gruden believes otherwise. On Thursday, Gruden’s team submitted a lawsuit, claiming that the NFL was perpetrating a steady flow of leaked emails to force Gruden’s hand in stepping away from the team.”
No other team or coach was implicated in the expansive 650,000 email investigation, which seems absurd.
That’s one of the reasons why Gruden believes he was specifically targeted by the league.
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.”
Leaking damaging material in batches has become a common media strategy.
Just when Gruden thought he had weathered the storm, the next tranche of private emails were released.
The lawsuit further 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.”
It seems quite clear that Gruden was the target of the operation.
None of the other emails has been released, and the investigation was quickly rolled up.
It was no secret that Gruden did not like NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and Goodell used the investigation to exact revenge.
Gruden might be able to strike a damaging blow to the NFL, but he can never get back his reputation that is now in tatters because of this orchestrated smear.