Jon Gruden emails, others exposing Bruce Allen and Adam Schefter, surface in Dan Snyder court filing
Several of the emails leading to Jon Gruden's resignation as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders were brought before a US district court in June by attorneys representing Washington Football team owner Daniel Snyder.
Months before the emails leaked, Snyder's lawyers used them as evidence in a lawsuit involving former team leader Bruce Allen, who was dismissed in 2019. Allen is the recipient of several of the damning emails quoted in the New York Times report on Monday about Gruden's fall.
Snyder's attorneys attached the emails to a motion compelling Allen to expose as part of Snyder's libel suit against an Indian media company that falsely linked him to sex trafficking and the disgraced deceased financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein target.
The filings - first reported by the Los Angeles Times and later received by Yahoo Sports - also include communications between everyone and media members, including ESPN's Adam Schefter. They provide a glimpse into the reporting tactics behind the NFL insider's work.
Snyder tried to link Allen to false reports
Most of the litigation, if not entirely, has nothing to do with the Gruden saga. Snyder sued New Delhi-based Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide (MEAWW) for $ 10 million over the false claims in August 2020. In later filings, he accused the team's minority owners and a former team member of conspiracy to leak harmful information to the press.
MEAWW was mentioned in these allegations, as was the Washington Post, which a month earlier had published an exposé of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct within the franchise. The Post report sparked an investigation of the team by the NFL, which ultimately led to Gruden's emails showing up.
Daniel Snyder, left, and Bruce Allen, when Allen worked for the Washington Football team. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Last April, Snyder added to his allegations and filed a motion citing Allen as a potential source. Two months later, in an attempt to force Allen to hand over evidence, Snyder's attorneys turned in the emails to show Allen had close ties with media members.
(Allen denied the allegations and the case has since been closed.)
Gruden, who was working for ESPN at the time, was one of those media members. His name has been blacked out on court records, but the homophobic and misogynistic emails match what the New York Times described on Monday.
In one, the "Redacted - ESPN Personality" Allen raves about an "clueless anti-football p *** y" - which the Times reported referring to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
In another, he says Goodell shouldn't tell teams to "queer" - a reference to the selection of the 2014 Rams by openly gay defensive lineman Michael Sam.
In another, sent directly to Allen on August 28, 2016, he refers to an NFL statement the day before in response to Colin Kaepernick's first protests against police brutality.
"They're suspending people for amino acids, they should cut that shit off," wrote the Redacted - ESPN Personality.
Allen partially replied, "I have expressed my indignation."
The "ESPN personality" then wrote back: "Good for you."
Allen also criticized protests
In a later unrelated Gruden email, Allen told Conservative talk show host Mark Levin, “Remember, over 90% of NFL players have never considered kneeling . The 10% of the players and owners are the problem (see [Eagles owners] Jeff Lurie & 49ers owners). "
"Good points, will hit some of this now," Levin replied, probably referring to his show.
"Thank you," Allen wrote back. "This is so ridiculous it's embarrassing."
Schefter sent the ESPN story to Allen for review
Perhaps the most revealing emails on the file are not related to Gruden. Appendix 1 is an exchange between Allen and Schefter from 2011 during negotiations between players and owners about a new collective agreement. Shortly after midnight on July 11, Schefter sent Allen a full draft of a story to be published later that day.
"Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, or tweaked," Schefter wrote to Allen. "Thank you, sir, for that and for your trust. Plan to hand this in around 6:00 in the morning."
Allen replied seven minutes later that it was "good stuff" and that "a few other issues" were "still under discussion" in the CBA.
"That's okay," replied Schefter. “But as long as the meat is right, which I believe, everything is fine. Go to bed.
ESPN told the LA Times in a statement upon being informed of the exchange: “Without sharing full details of the reporter process for a story from 10 years ago during the NFL ineligibility, we believe nothing is more important to Adam and ESPN than Den To offer fans the most accurate, fairest and most complete story. "
Other emails show Schefter and Allen exchanging information, in a correspondence that illustrates a more common relationship between reporter and source. In 2017, for example, prominent agent Drew Rosenhaus, who was representing then linebacker of the 49ers, NaVorro Bowman, sent an email with the caption, "NAVORRO BOWMAN is available in a store. Please call me if interested. I have the Niners' permission to discuss. "
Allen forwarded the email to Schefter. "Love that!" Scheter replied. "It's different than you, sharing something good. I'll use the Sunday morning! I'm grateful and grateful. Thank you !!!"
The next day, Schefter reported that the 49ers Bowman were "shopping," "and there are interested teams, sources tell ESPN. His time in SF may soon be coming to an end."
About 90 minutes later, the Niners released Bowman.
Other emails show Allen communicating with reporters from the Washington Post and other media outlets. The names of the reporters were blacked out in the first filing in mid-June. In late June, Snyder's attorney filed altered exhibits with less editing - although only the names of reports, not the names of footballers, were revealed.
Snyder, meanwhile, is under increased scrutiny as the NFL faces requests to release all of the 650,000 reported emails that were part of the investigation to the Washington Football team.
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