Hall Of Fame Reporter Sues NFL; Claims NFL Owners Made Racist Remarks Including: ‘Black Players Should Go Back To Africa’

Terry Pegula

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Hall of Fame journalist Jim Trotter, who formerly worked with NFL Media, has initiated a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the NFL and NFL Media.

CBS’ Jonathan Jones reported on the legal action, which includes allegations of racist remarks by NFL owners.

Jim Trotter is the most recent winner of the Hall of Fame’s Bill Nunn award. An award given to a reporter who has made a distinguished contribution to pro football.

Trotter’s lawsuit encompasses various allegations, with a particular focus on claims of discriminatory behavior by NFL team owners, actions that he asserts have gone unchecked by the NFL league office.

His lawsuit in part, mentions two incidents from 2020, involving Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

In Trotter’s lawsuit, he contends the following:

  1. Bills Owner Terry Pegula: Trotter alleges that Pegula said: “If the Black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is.” – In reference to player protests against racial injustice.
  2. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones: Trotter’s alleges that Jones said: “If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire.” – Regarding the lack of Black professionals in decision making positions on NFL teams.

Jim Trotter stated, “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. 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.”

The NFL issued a statement in response to Trotter’s lawsuit, which reads in part, “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.”

Furthermore, Bills owner Terry Pegula has categorically denied the allegations, stating that he is “disgusted” to see his name associated with such remarks. He described Trotter’s complaint as “absolutely false.”

It remains to be seen how this legal action will unfold and what implications it may have for the league.