A Black reporter is claiming that an NFL owner made a racist comment about Black players to other NFL Media coworkers during a Zoom.
According to ESPN, reporter Jim Trotter alleges in his racial discrimination lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, that Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula told a group of NFL Media coworkers that “If the Black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is.”
The statement, which was relayed to Trotter by an unnamed reporter who was on the call, allegedly came during a Zoom call with approximately 40 other NFL Media coworkers about the NFL’s social justice initiatives and Black Lives Matter.
In the lawsuit, Trotter says Pegula’s comments were “highly offensive and racist.” When he suggested that NFL Media investigate Pegula and the Zoom call, Trotter alleges he was “repeatedly brushed off and told that ‘the league office is investigating it.’”
Pegula has adamantly denied making the comment saying, “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, Pegula said in a statement to ESPN. “Racism has no place in our society and I am personally disgusted that my name is associated with this complaint.”
Bills owner Terry Pegula isn’t the only owner in Trotter’s lawsuit as he also mentions Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
According to the suit, during a 2020 conversation between Jones, Cowboys executive Will McClay, and Trotter, the Cowboys owner told the two Black men that “If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire.”
Jones claims that the lawsuit’s “representation” of his words during the conversation with McClay and Trotter was not accurate and that “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.
The NFL also released a statement disagreeing with Trotter’s lawsuit.
“We share Jim Trotter’s passion for quality journalism created in and supported by a diverse and inclusive environment,” the league said. “We take his concerns seriously, but strongly dispute his specific allegations, particularly those made against his dedicated colleagues at NFL Media.”
Trotter is seeking unspecified damages and called for a “full-scale investigation into the discriminatory and/or retaliatory animus of all persons in position of power within the NFL, including the NFL team owners.”
“The NFL and team owners have repeatedly shown they are unable to monitor and police themselves, making these equitable measures a necessary component of any awarded relief,” the lawsuit says.
The post ‘Go Back To Africa’: Black Reporter’s Lawsuit Claims NFL Owner Was Racist On Zoom Call appeared first on NewsOne.
‘Go Back To Africa’: Black Reporter’s Lawsuit Claims NFL Owner Was Racist On Zoom Call was originally published on newsone.com
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