Veteran NFL Reporter Jim Trotter Sues The League For Racial Discrimination, Claims Bills Owner Terry Pegula And Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Made Racist Comments

Longtime NFL reporter is suing the league for racial discrimination for being let go by the NFL Network. In the complaint it is also alleged that Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made racist remarks to which Trotter is privy.

At the Super Bowl in February, Trotter asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the league’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond the sidelines, front offices, and into all aspects of the company. The league has been woefully underrepresented by minorities in every single facet besides players.

Trotter Challenged Goodell On 2022 Commitment

Trotter put Goodell, in essence his boss, on the hot seat about the lack of diversity in the NFL Network’s newsroom and news desk.

Trotter’s contract was not renewed in March.

He hasn’t been shy about saying on all media platforms that his questioning of Goodell and the league’s “commitment” to diversity got him fired. More specifically, calling out Goodell and his empty promises regarding diversity.

“The NFL has claimed it wants to be held accountable regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. I tried to do so, and it cost me my job,” Trotter wrote and posted to X, formerly Twitter. “I’m filing this lawsuit because I can’t complain about things that are wrong if I’m unwilling to fight for what is right.

“I hope this lawsuit leads to real change across the league and in the newsroom. It is on the backs of a majority black player population that owners have made billions and those players deserve to have someone who shares their cultural and life experiences at the table when decisions are being made about how they are being covered.”

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, names the NFL, NFL Enterprises, and NFL Network Services as defendants.

Terry Pegula And Jerry Jones Allegedly Make Racist Statements

The complaint alleges that in 2020, a fellow NFL Media reporter recalled a conversation he had with Pegula, who was speaking to the reporter about the NFL’s social justice initiatives and Black Lives Matter.

The unnamed reporter told Trotter and approximately 40 other NFL Media coworkers during a Zoom call that Pegula said, “If the Black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is.”

The complaint also mentions Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who allegedly told Trotter in 2020 that “If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire.”

Both Pegula and Jones deny saying what they are alleged to have said.

The NFL also released a statement since the suit was filed.

“We share Jim Trotter’s passion for quality journalism created in and supported by a diverse and inclusive environment. We take his concerns seriously, but strongly dispute his specific allegations, particularly those made against his dedicated colleagues at NFL Media. Mr. Trotter’s departure from NFL Media was one of many difficult decisions — similar to decisions recently made by many other media organizations — to address a challenging economy and a changing media environment. Jim was one of many employees who were unfortunately affected by these business decisions. We appreciate Jim’s five years of service at NFL Media and wish him much success in his new role. The NFL has made significant strides in improving diversity and inclusion and, while we acknowledge there is always more work to be done, we are committed to continuing that progress.”

The league’s record on diversity, equity, and inclusion is terrible. Goodell admitted it in 2022 at the Super Bowl. Between Trotter’s lawsuit and former Miami Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit, also for racial discrimination in his firing, the league has bad press it doesn’t want right now.

The league is a behemoth and will hope that the weekly football action will drown out this noise and then they’ll eventually settle with both parties. When you’re an $18 billion per year entity, that’s usually how things work.

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