Nevada Supreme Court sides with NFL, forces Ex-Las Vegas Raiders coach into arbitration

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada Supreme Court sided with the NFL on Tuesday, forcing former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden into arbitration with the league.

The 2-1 ruling reverses a lower court’s decision, which sided with Jon Gruden, allowing his lawsuit against the NFL to continue as the league appealed. Gruden resigned from the Raiders on Oct. 11, 2021, after emails surfaced showing he used racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments. A New York Times investigation revealed Gruden had not only used racist comments in an email in 2011, but had regularly used derogatory language in emails during his employment with ESPN.

Lawyers for the NFL pushed to settle Gruden’s lawsuit through arbitration — and not the public process of discovery. That process would likely reveal how and who leaked Gruden’s emails and other business-related information.

<em>Jon Gruden, center, appears in court Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Las Vegas. A Nevada judge heard a bid Wednesday by the National Football League to dismiss former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit accusing the league of a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” including the leaking of offensive emails ahead of his resignation last October. (AP Photo/John Locher)</em>

On Tuesday, the high court found Gruden “must submit to arbitration under the NFL Constitution arbitration clause” as part of his original contract, their ruling said.

“Gruden expressly acknowledged in the employment agreement that he had read the NFL Constitution and understood its terms,” the ruling said. “He therefore cannot now claim surprise at its contents.”

The court ordered the lower court to grant a motion for arbitration to move forward.

Gruden filed the lawsuit against the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, in November 2021, over what he called his “forced” resignation the month before. Lawyers for the league have claimed Gruden “consistently” sent “derogatory emails” while he led the team, court filings the 8 News Now Investigators reviewed this summer indicated.

Gruden signed a $100 million contract with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2018. According to the lawsuit, he is not being paid the remaining balance on the contract, which runs through 2027. His lawyers also write Gruden is losing out on endorsement deals, including one with footwear company Skechers.

Chief Justice Elissa Cadish and Justice Kristina Pickering were in the majority. Justice Linda Bell dissented, saying in part the NFL’s arbitration clause did not apply to former employees.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KLAS.