The NFL is at Risk of its Laundry being Aired
In a follow up to last month’s newsletter, this week the NFL lost its bid to have former Las Vegas Raiders coach John Gruden’, lawsuit moved to arbitration. In particular, a Nevada Clark County District Court Judge denied the NFL’s motion to dismiss Mr. Gruden’s case and its motion to compel arbitration.
The newest claim threatening the NFL’s reputation is the lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins coach, Brian Flores. Mr. Flores brought a landmark lawsuit against the NFL and While the NFL will undoubtedly appeal, should it lose an appeal, the NFL will be at risk to potential disclosure of damaging discovery related to Mr. Gruden’s tortious interference claim and alleged leaking of his offensive emails. This is something the NFL certainly wants to avoid given the nature of Mr. Gruden’s allegations, and the underlying cause of his termination for racially insensitive and discriminatory statements made by him. Disclosure of discovery materials could lead to other aspects of the NFL’s prior investigation into other NFL stakeholders and teams that uncovered Mr. Gruden’s prior comments.
Finally, this case is undoubtedly being closely watched by former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and his attorneys, who are currently in litigation with the NFL involving allegations of racial discrimination in the coaching hiring process. As it attempted to do with Mr. Gruden’s case, the NFL is seeking to have Mr. Flores’ case moved to arbitration. As such, should the NFL lose its appeal, one could expect a quick settlement with Mr. Gruden to avoid the airing of its laundry.
Florida Legislative Update
In an apparent reaction to the protests at several United States Supreme Court Justices’ homes following the leak of a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the Florida Legislature passed, and Governor DeSantis signed, a law that makes it illegal to protest at an individual’s residence.
Under this new law, police can arrest protestors if they ignore a law enforcement order to disperse. The law is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, and so it carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
This new law is certainly controversial. It will be argued on the one hand that the new law can potentially interfere with citizens’ First Amendment rights, while others will argue the law facially protects individuals in their homes and their privacy rights.
Like so many new pieces of legislation in Florida, the new law is likely to be challenged in court. As the law implicates the First Amendment, legal challenges might go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. If such were to occur, then the law will have come full circle, with its birth as an apparent reaction to protests at Justices’ home to its ultimate fate being decided by those same Justices.