‘He has no one to blame but himself’: NFL moves to dismiss Jon Gruden’s lawsuit – USA TODAY

The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have formally asked a Nevada judge to throw out the lawsuit filed against them by former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden.

In court documents filed Wednesday, the league’s lawyers ripped Gruden’s lawsuit as “a baseless attempt” to blame NFL leaders for the public backlash to vulgar emails that he sent over seven years. Gruden resigned in October after the content of the emails came to light in news reports by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

“Gruden does not, and cannot, dispute that he wrote the published emails,” the NFL wrote in a motion to dismiss filed Wednesday. “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 NFL later adds: “To the extent that Jon Gruden suffered any damage, he has no one to blame but himself.”

Attorneys for Gruden did not immediately respond to an email from USA TODAY Sports seeking comment on the NFL’s motion.

The league’s formal response to Gruden’s lawsuit comes more than two months after it was first filed in Clark County District Court, and three months after his resignation. Gruden alleged that the league deliberately leaked his emails – which include homophobic and misogynistic language – to news outlets in an effort to force him out of his job as Raiders coach, describing it as “a Soviet-style character assassination.”

NFL NEWSLETTER: Sign up now to get football news delivered to your inbox

The NFL and Goodell have publicly denied leaking the emails, which were discovered as part of its probe into a toxic work culture within the Washington Football Team.

The league reiterated those denials in Wednesday’s court filings, while also arguing, among other things, that Gruden didn’t have a realistic expectation of confidentiality when he sent the emails in the first place.

“Gruden willfully sent numerous profane emails to up to a half dozen individuals at a time, including to multiple corporate email servers subject to third-party monitoring, belying any conclusory claim he could make for an expectation of privacy over them,” the league argued.

In addition to the motion to dismiss, lawyers for the NFL and Goodell also filed a motion asking the judge to kick the lawsuit to arbitration. They argue that the matters raised by Gruden “(belong) in arbitration under the clear terms of Gruden’s employment contract and the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws to which Gruden is bound.”

Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.