Jim Trotter makes accusations about Terry Pegula, Jerry Jones in new lawsuit
Jim Trotter made some accusations about Terry Pegula and Jerry Jones in a discrimination lawsuit recently filed by his attorneys.
Trotter previously served as a reporter for NFL Media, which is a league-owned entity (meaning Trotter was employed by NFL teams/owners). His contract was not renewed in March. He filed a lawsuit in New York City on Tuesday alleging that he was the victim of discrimination and retaliation.
As part of his suit, Trotter, who now works for The Athletic often covering the subject of race, accused Buffalo Bills owner Pegula and Dallas Cowboys owner Jones of making racially-insensitive remarks.
Trotter cited comments Pegula allegedly made during a dinner with reporters on the issue of player protests against racial injustice. Trotter was not present for the dinner. He heard another reporter say that Pegula said on the topic of player protests, “if the black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is.”
The NFL investigated the allegation and said nobody at the dinner could recall Pegula making that remark.
“I am horrified that anyone would connect me to an allegation of this kind,” Pegula said in a statement on Tuesday. “Racism has no place in our society and I am personally disgusted that my name is associated with this complaint.”
Trotter also says he pressed Jones in 2020 about the lack of black professionals in decision-making roles in the NFL.
“If blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire,” Jones allegedly said to Trotter.
Jones responded on Tuesday as well.
“Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to me personally and to the NFL. 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,” Jones said in a statement.
Trotter is represented by the same lawfirm that represented Brian Flores in his discrimination suit against the NFL.
Prior to working for NFL Media from 2018-2023, Trotter worked for ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He says his contract was not renewed because he repeatedly voiced concerns regarding racial injustice and diversity.
Trotter even pressed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the subject of diversity during a media appearance ahead of the Super Bowl in February.
The @NFL says its commitment to diversity extends beyond the sideline and front office, but the numbers in the newsroom at the league-owned media group says otherwise. So I asked @nflcommish sbout it. 👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/nabWjo0SDm
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) February 8, 2023
The league said in a statement that Trotter lost his job as part of difficult cuts for economic reasons.
“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,” the league said in a statement given to The Athletic.
You can read more on Trotter’s lawsuit at The Athletic.