The wheels of justice often move more slowly than molasses down a frozen sliding board.
The lawsuit filed last year by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell remains mired in a preliminary skirmish over whether it will be heard in open court or in the secret, rigged kangaroo court of the Commish.
Via ESPN.com, the hearing on the question of whether the case should be dismissed or forced into the league’s internal arbitration process will happen on May 25.
Gruden sued in early November, just a few weeks after the leak of emails he sent before being hired by the Raiders to former Washington president Bruce Allen forced him out as the head coach in Las Vegas. Nearly six months after the filing of the lawsuit, the court will be taking up the NFL’s threshold Hail Mary aimed at stacking the deck against Gruden.
It’s still not known who leaked the emails. If the case is forced into arbitration, we may never know. The universe of people with access to those emails was very small.
Gruden alleges that Goodell leaked them in order to force the Raiders to push Gruden out. Some think Washington owner Dan Snyder did it, as revenge for the punishment imposed on him as a result of attorney Beth Wilkinson’s 10-month investigation that would have resulted in a recommendation that he be forced to sell the team, if the league had bothered to ask for a recommendation in writing.
Eventually, the presiding judge will put a decision in writing as to whether Gruden will be able to proceed in a real court or must proceed in the NFL’s secret rigged kangaroo facsimile. That decision will go a long way toward determining whether Gruden prevails — and whether the rest of us ever find out the truth as to how the emails ended up being leaked to select media with the goal of forcing Gruden to step down during the 2021 season.
This isn’t about whether Gruden should have avoided accountability for his emails. This is about whether accountability will be avoided for weaponizing supposedly secret documents with the goal of taking Gruden out. It’s possible that Gruden both did something for which he deserved to be fired and didn’t deserve to be treated the way that he was.