Jon Gruden's lawyers: Roger Goodell, NFL must be held publicly accountable

Safid Deen
USA TODAY

The lawyers for former NFL coach and analyst Jon Gruden released a statement Wednesday, criticizing commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s lack of transparency.

Goodell defended the league’s decision not to release a written report from its findings on Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder’s inappropriate workplace conduct and the team’s toxic workplace environment, while testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

Instead, Goodell said confidentiality was promised to ensure victims would step forward in the investigation.

“It was apparent from Commissioner Goodell’s testimony today that the NFL is still resisting actual accountability and is only willing to be selectively transparent,” attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner said in a statement sent to USA TODAY on Wednesday.

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Gruden’s lawsuit stems from his 2021 resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails he sent were uncovered as part of the league’s investigation into Washington’s workplace environment. 

Gruden is suing the NFL and Goodell for leaking emails sent between 2010-2018 – which contained sexist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks – to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times last October.

Gruden’s lawyers won a crucial ruling last month when a Las Vegas judge  denied the NFL's motions to force the lawsuit into arbitration and to dismiss it altogether. By avoiding arbitration, which would prevent case findings from being publicized, Gruden hopes to publicly uncover whether Goodell or any other NFL figure released the emails. 

Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned on Oct. 11, 2021.

“In the Jon Gruden lawsuit, the Nevada court comprehensively rejected the NFL and Commissioner Goodell’s attempt to compel arbitration and conceal their conduct from the public. If they do appeal, we welcome the opportunity for the Nevada Supreme Court to issue a published opinion confirming the ruling and invalidating the NFL Constitution and the unfair arbitration provisions that the NFL has hidden behind for so long.

“Jon Gruden’s fight matters to many more people than just himself and real accountability won’t exist until the NFL’s misconduct stops being addressed behind closed doors.”

Gruden worked for ESPN as an analyst on Monday Night Football during the time the emails were sent. 

Gruden alleges the NFL leaked his emails to harm his reputation and force him out of his job.