Judge denies NFL motion to dismiss Jon Gruden lawsuit

LAS VEGAS -- The NFL lost a bid Wednesday to scuttle a lawsuit by former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden accusing the league of a "malicious and orchestrated campaign" to force him to resign last October, including the leaking of offensive emails he wrote.

A Nevada judge ruled against the league on two key issues in a legal battle pitting the coach, who departed the Raiders with more than six seasons remaining on his record 10-year, $100 million contract, against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Attorneys for both sides declined to comment following a 90-minute hearing, although Gruden emerged from the courtroom declaring "Go Raiders." He told reporters as he walked to an elevator that he hoped his case against the league and Goodell would play out.

Clark County District Court Judge Nancy Allf refused requests by league attorney Kannon Shanmugam to dismiss Gruden's claim outright or to let the league move the dispute to arbitration.

The league has a responsibility to act, the league attorney argued, in cases involving "conduct detrimental to the best interest of the league or professional football."

Gruden accuses the NFL and Goodell of destroying his career and scuttling endorsement contracts by releasing emails that no one disputes Gruden sent — and that Shanmugam told the judge contained "racist, misogynistic and homophobic" language unfit for repetition in a public courtroom.

The emails came from among some 650,000 electronic messages obtained by the league almost a year ago during a probe of the workplace culture of the Washington NFL franchise now called the Commanders.

Copyright by The 2022 Associated Press.