NFL journalist Jim Trotter alleges discriminatory comments by Jerry Jones, Terry Pegula in retaliation lawsuit

Jerry Jones is accused of making discriminatory comments in a lawsuit filed by former NFL Network journalist Jim Trotter. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Jerry Jones is accused of making discriminatory comments in a lawsuit filed by former NFL Network journalist Jim Trotter. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Former NFL Network journalist Jim Trotter filed a retaliation lawsuit against the NFL on Tuesday alleging his contract was not renewed because he called out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the league’s lack of diversity.

The lawsuit, which features a detailed timeline of Trotter’s termination, also accuses Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula of making discriminatory comments when asked about player protests and the league’s diversity efforts.

The lawsuit accuses Pegula of stating Black players should “go back to Africa” after being asked about player protests against racial injustice. Trotter’s lawsuit alleges Pegula responded to a question about the protests by stating, “If the Black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is.” Trotter claims he raised complaints over that comment, though the league allegedly did not take action.

Pegula released a statement Tuesday calling that allegation “absolutely false.”

The full statement reads:

“The statement attributed to me in Mr. Trotter’s complaint is absolutely false. 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.”

Trotter also accuses Jones of stating, “If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire” when asked about the league’s poor track record of hiring Black professionals. Trotter claims he raised complaints over Jones’ comment, but the league failed to take action.

Jim Trotter accuses NFL of retaliation

The lawsuit alleges Trotter was let go by the NFL after he asked Goodell about the “NFL’s record of race discrimination and lack of diversity.” Trotter, who previously worked for NFL Network, claims he was in good standing with the league last November, when NFL vice president of on-air talent management Sandra Nunez reportedly told Trotter’s agent there wasn’t “any reason why his [Mr. Trotter’s] contract would not be renewed.”

That allegedly changed after Trotter asked Goodell about the NFL’s diversity efforts during a press conference in February. A few weeks later, Nunez allegedly asked Trotter is he was “in alignment” with the NFL. Trotter responded by saying he was“not in alignment with a newsroom that does not have Black representation in decision-making positions.” Trotter claims he stopped receiving assignments from the league in March, and expressed he was being retaliated against to Nunez. In late March, Nunez told Trotter’s agent that Trotter’s contract would not be renewed.

This story will be updated.

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