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Jim Trotter’s lawsuit survives NFL’s motion to dismiss

When former NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter sued the NFL for wrongful termination of his employment, one of the most potent weapons in the NFL’s arsenal wasn’t available. With no arbitration clause in Trotter’s contract, the NFL couldn’t force the case into a secret, rigged kangaroo court.

The NFL instead attempted to knock out the entire case, with a motion to dismiss. On Wednesday, the presiding judge allowed the action to proceed.

In a two-page order, Judge Jed S. Radkoff ruled that the motion to dismiss Trotter’s retaliation claim is denied, and that the motion to dismiss his hostile work environment claim and his claims under New York State and City law are granted. A longer written opinion will be produced at a later date.

Attorney David Gottlieb issued this statement: “The NFL’s playbook is to use its endless assets and immense power to avoid accountability through arbitration agreements or bogus attempts to get cases dismissed. With the NFL having failed to get this case dismissed, and with no arbitration agreement to save them, we look forward to finally holding the NFL responsible for its conduct in a forum fully open to the public.”

The NFL will undoubtedly file a motion for summary judgment, after the discovery process concludes. That will happen after, however, key figures like Commissioner Roger Goodell are questioned under oath. And after Trotter otherwise has a chance to prove his claim that his contract wasn’t renewed because he stirred things up regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in the NFL Network courtroom.