“Go Back To Africa And See How Bad It Is” | Did Buffalo Bills Owner Terry Pegula Disrespect Black NFL Players? Jerry Jones Doesn’t Think So

The NFL’s cultural and diversity revelations stemming from a lawsuit by longtime NFL reporter Jim Trotter are vast, but the latest accusation is outrageous.

Per Trotter, his lawsuit alleges that in 2020, another reporter with NFL Media remembered a conversation with Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula, who was enlightening the reporter about his views on the NFL’s social justice initiatives in the wake of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

During a Zoom call, the unnamed reporter told Trotter and almost 40 other coworkers at NFL Media an inflammatory comment that Pegula allegedly said, Trotter’s suit claims.

“If the Black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is,” Pegula is accused of saying.

Now Pegula is on defense.

“The statement attributed to me in Mr. Trotter’s complaint is absolutely false,” Pegula said in a statement released Tuesday. “I am horrified that anyone would connect me to an allegation of this kind. Racism has no place in our society and I am personally disgusted that my name is associated with this complaint.”

Enter Jerry Jones

However, Trotter asserts that when he pushed executives at NFL Media to investigate Pegula’s “highly offensive and racist,” comments, he was “repeatedly brushed off and told that ‘the league office is investigating it.'”

Also mentioned in the lawsuit are Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who allegedly told Trotter during a conversation in 2020, and Cowboys executive Will McClay, who is Black, something that sounded separate but equal.

“If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire,” Jones is alleged to have said.

Jones’ comment allegedly was to a question posed by Trotter about “why teams have so few Black decision-makers,” according to the lawsuit. The “rather contentious,” exchange, per the lawsuit, ended with the fact that Jones and Trotter “should ‘agree to disagree’ about the NFL’s issues with race.”

Jones defended himself, saying Trotter’s explanation of his conversation is “simply not accurate,” in a statement.

“Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to me personally and to the NFL,” Jones said. “The representation made by Jim Trotter of a conversation that occurred over three years ago with myself and our VP of Player Personnel Will McClay is simply not accurate.”

The Gridiron Wall

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell discussed the “allegations” on ESPN.

“Our job is to make sure to be factual,” Goodell said on ESPN’s “First Take.” “These are not new charges, they are actually a couple years old. They have been looked into. You heard the strong denials. There is litigation going on now. It will be addressed.”

Goodell and Trotter had a verbal altercation caught on camera at the Super Bowl in February. Trotter asked the commissioner about the NFL’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond the sidelines, front offices, and all aspects of the company.

The NFL did not renew Trotter’s contract in March.

Jerry Jones has added to his commentary about the issue of minority ownership in the NFL particularly. He still doubled down on his his belief that Trotter has gotten it wrong.

“Nobody got in on a wing and prayer any more than I did, and I really couldn’t afford it,” Jones said after the Cowboys’ 30-10 win against the New York Jets. “But I got into it and as we look and see — and we do see — the qualified potential buyers out here that can get involved and that’s one way. It’s not the only way.

[There are] multiple ways to address inequity. Multiple ways to go do it. And certainly I would think about one way is to try to work to get ownership improved in the minority area. And I’m all for it and I do it. I work at it. I work at it. Jim’s a friend and I think a lot of him,” Jones continued. “I hate that we’ve got some litigation, and hopefully we will address all of that, but the overall concern, I would say, is just not accurate.”

Back to top