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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bruce Allen Alleges NFL Blames Commanders for Jon Gruden Leaks

  • Former Longtime Commanders president says league lawyer blamed team for leaked emails.
  • The emails led to Jon Gruden's resignation as head coach of Las Vegas Raiders.
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder stands next to former team executive Bruce Allen
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former longtime Washington Commanders executive Bruce Allen said in a deposition as part of Congress’ probe of the franchise that an NFL attorney told him the league was not the source of the leaked emails that drew renewed scrutiny of owner Dan Snyder and led to the downfall of Jon Gruden. 

Instead, Allen said he was told by NFL counsel Lisa Friel that emails published by The Wall Street Journal in October 2021 came from “their side,” an apparent reference to the Commanders. A transcript of his September deposition was included as part of the House Oversight Committee’s final report of its lengthy investigation of the Commanders released on Thursday. 

“We didn’t do it at the league office.,” Friel said, per Allen. “It came out of their side.”

Added Allen, “She’s pointing a finger at the team – unless there’s another group who has my emails who I don’t know.”

Allen was forced out as Commanders president in December 2019 — one of two people Snyder said he personally fired in his deposition — after about a decade with the team. 

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The Wall Street Journal story included an exchange where Gruden used a racial trope about NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. 

Three days after The Wall Street Journal published its story, The New York Times published another trove of emails where Gruden used misogynistic and homophobic language. The emails were exchanged while Gruden was an NFL football analyst at ESPN. 

Gruden resigned as coach of the Raiders hours later. Days later, the Oversight Committee launched its investigation. 

The Commanders have denied that anyone associated with the team released the emails between Allen and Gruden. The NFL has also previously said it was not the source of the emails. 

Messages left with the Commanders and NFL about Allen’s deposition testimony were not immediately returned Thursday.  

Gruden sued the NFL last year where he alleged the league was the source of the emails. The Nevada lawsuit has survived motions filed by NFL attorneys to dismiss the case or shift it into arbitration, a ruling the league is currently appealing.

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