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Ex-Raiders Coach Jon Gruden Accuses NFL, Roger Goodell of Conspiring Against Him in New Lawsuit

Gruden was forced out as Raiders coach after racist and homophobic emails were surfaced

A month after being forced to resign as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jon Gruden has filed a lawsuit against the National Football League and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell accusing them of conducting “a malicious and orchestrated campaign” to do him harm.

Gruden was forced out of the Raiders on Oct. 11, after several emails in which he used homophobic and racist language were leaked. Ironically, the emails were uncovered as part of an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and a toxic workplace at the Washington Football Team, and so far remain the only documentation of inappropriate behavior actually made public from that inquiry.

Gruden’s lawsuit notes that context throughout the filing, saying at one point, “in contrast to the formalities of the Washington Football Team investigation, defendants’ treatment of Gruden was a Soviet-style character assassination.” The lawsuit also accuses Goodell and the NFL of personally leaking the emails in question.

“There is no explanation or justification for why Gruden’s emails were the only ones made public out of the 650,000 emails collected in the NFL’s investigation of the Washington Football Team or for why the emails were held for months before being released in the middle of the Raiders’ season,” Gruden’s attorney Adam Hosmer-Henner said in a statement provided to NBC.

Gruden’s lawsuit lists seven causes of action: Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations; Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; Negligence; Negligent Hiring; Negligent Supervision; Civil Conspiracy; and Aiding and Abetting.

Gruden is seeking a minimum of $15,000 in damages from each cause of action, punitive damages that are “no less than three times the amount awarded to Plaintiff for compensatory damages,” coverage of court costs and attorney’s fees, and unspecified other damages as the court finds appropriate.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.