A Nevada court has ordered Jon Gruden’s case to be referred to NFL arbitration

A three-judge panel of the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with the NFL against former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden, saying he was subject to arbitration even as a former employee and thus ineligible to sue the league over his 2021 termination.

The two judges, Elissa F., overturned the case. Kadish and Christina Pickering order the district court denying the NFL’s request to compel Gruden’s complaint to the arbitration process. The case was returned to the court of first instance with an order approving the arbitration request.

Judge Linda Marie Bell disagreed with the majority’s interpretation of the arbitration clause in the NFL Constitution, siding with Gruden’s lawyers who argued that it did not apply to former employees.

“I disagree with their conclusion because the facts of this case do not support the provision remaining beyond the end of Gruden’s term,” Bell wrote in her dissent.

Gruden’s lawsuit accuses the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell of directly “leaking” racist and misogynistic emails in an attempt to damage Gruden’s reputation and force him to step down as Raiders head coach in October 2021.

Gruden filed his lawsuit in November 2021, weeks after he resigned under pressure when the Wall Street Journal and New York Times published some of his emails more than a decade ago. The emails surfaced in the league’s investigation into Daniel Snyder, then-owner of the Washington Commanders.

Gruden told ESPN last year that the league “thought they could cherry-pick emails from years ago, when I wasn’t even a coach, and try to end my career.” At the time, league spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN that “neither the NFL nor the commissioner leaked Coach Gruden’s offensive emails.”

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The NFL asked the courts to dismiss Gruden’s claim, saying a clause in his contract with the Raiders required him to submit his claim through league arbitration.

Gruden’s attorney, Adam Hosmer-Henner, argued that arbitration, a process controlled by the NFL and where no discovery would be made public, would be unfair to his client because Gruden is no longer an employee of the league.

Gruden, Hosmer Henner and an NFL spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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