When former Raiders coach Jon Gruden told HBO producer Maggie Burbank that “the truth will come out,” many shrugged and said, “It already has.”
But there are plenty of untold truths unrelated to the emails that Gruden sent to former Washington executive Bruce Allen. If Gruden is so inclined, he could pursue those truths by paying the ultimate homage to the late Al Davis.
Gruden could sue the NFL.
The basic theory, if pursued in Nevada, would be “intentional interference with contractual relations.” The argument would be that the NFL put the kibosh on Gruden’s ongoing business interests with the Raiders by weaponizing supposedly secret emails in a way that ended his employment with the team.
Obviously, he wouldn’t be the most sympathetic plaintiff. He wrote the offensive emails that triggered his resignation. But the NFL, after insisting that none of the emails would be made public, harvested some of them with the intention of sending them to the Raiders — even though the emails were sent by Gruden at a time when he didn’t work for the Raiders.
As the argument would go, the NFL necessarily interjected itself into the employment relationship by “tattling” on Gruden over something that happened before he went to work for the team. Perhaps the goal was to prompt the Raiders to explore their own servers for potentially offensive and inappropriate emails sent by Gruden after he returned to the team in early 2018. Perhaps the official goal wasn’t to get the Raiders to get rid of Gruden, but to simply take a closer look at his conduct after becoming an employee of an NFL team again.
Regardless, someone leaked just enough emails to get Gruden out. Not many people had access to those emails. If Gruden sues, maybe the truth as to that wrinkle and many others will indeed come out.