Buffalo Bills Owner Terry Pegula Linked to Racist Remark in Jim Trotter Lawsuit

Veteran sports activities actions journalist Jim Trotter has filed a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in opposition to the NFL and the NFL Network, alleging that he misplaced his job earlier this yr as an NFL Network reporter after difficult the league and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, about its lack of selection in instructing and administration.

Trotter filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday in New York trying to find damages and an “award of equitable support important to stress the NFL to remedy and alter its discriminatory and retaliatory practices.” He is represented by the Wigdor regulation company, which moreover has represented former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores in his racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL.

His 53-page grievance moreover accuses two NFL owners of making racially charged statements in 2020—DDallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones and Buffalo Bills proprietor Terry Pegula, which they denied Tuesday.

What have been the allegations in the direction of Terry Pegula and Jerry Jones?

In August 2020, Trotter talked about he was on the sphere sooner than the Hall of Fame recreation between the Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers when he talked about he requested why NFL teams have so few Black decision-makers.

According to the lawsuit, Jones lastly responded: “If Blacks actually really feel some kind of means, they should buy their very personal crew and lease who they should lease.”

Jones responded Tuesday with a press launch.

“Diversity and inclusion are terribly essential to me personally and to the NFL,” he talked about. “The illustration made by Jim Trotter of a dialog that occurred over three years prior to now with myself and our VP of Player Personnel Will McClay is solely not right.”

About a month later, in September 2020, one different NFL Media reporter described a dialog he had with Pegula about social activism by NFL avid gamers and assist for Black Lives Matter.

According to Trotter’s grievance, this reporter shared his account in a Zoom meeting with completely different NFL Media workers and alleged that Pegula talked about, “If the Black avid gamers don’t favor it proper right here, they should return to Africa and see how unhealthy it is.”

Trotter, who’s Black, talked about he objected to these suggestions nevertheless talked about he was suggested to not level out Jones’ suggestions on-air and that Pegula’s alleged suggestions have been “swept beneath the rug” by the league.

Pegula moreover issued a press launch Tuesday.

“The assertion attributed to me in Mr. Trotter’s grievance is completely false,” Pegula talked about. “I’m horrified that anyone would be a part of me to an allegation of this kind. Racism has no place in our society , and I a personally disgusted that my determine is said to this grievance.”

The Pegulas’ Rochester ties

In July 2018, Terry and Kim Pegula’s Pegula Sports and Entertainment took over administration of Blue Cross Arena on the War Memorial from earlier operator SMG.

The Pegulas moreover private the Rochester Americans hockey crew and the Rochester Knighthawks lacrosse crew.

Kim Pegula, who’s recovering from cardiac arrest she suffered in June 2021 and has stepped once more from her expert place, grew up in Fairport.

More: Kim Pegula visits Buffalo Bills teaching camp

What is the NFL’s response?

The NFL moreover issued a press launch that talked about it takes his issues considerably nevertheless strongly disputes his explicit allegations.

“Mr. Trotter’s departure from NFL Media was thought of considered one of many robust selections — very similar to selections simply recently made by many various media organizations — to deal with a tough financial system and a altering media environment,” the assertion talked about. “Jim was thought of considered one of many workers who’ve been sadly affected by these enterprise selections. We acknowledge Jim’s 5 years of service at NFL Media and wish him so much success in his new place. The NFL has made important strides in bettering selection and inclusion and, whereas we acknowledge there’s on a regular basis further work to be accomplished, we’re devoted to persevering with that progress.”

Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. Email: [email protected]. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reporter Marcia Greenwood contributed to this report.

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