NFL Network’s Jane Slater Calls Twitter Critics ‘Rotten’ After Unpaid Internship Post

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Twitter Jane Slater

The NFL Network’s Jane Slater is responding to critics who took her to task for a post pushing an unpaid internship. Although the Texas-based broadcaster initially called critics “rotten,” she later posted a more conciliatory message, explaining she was trying to forward an opportunity to help college students.

“I have listened, engaged & now have some food for thought. Let me explain this ‘unpaid internship,’ how we all got here in the comments section & what I’ve learned. Twitter isn’t the place but good & bad I always hope to learn something & hope you do too ❤️,” she wrote.

Slater’s Twitter profile reads, “Reporter for the NFL Network. Univ. of Texas alumna. Former local newshound. Host, The ‘Boys & Girl podcast for FOXSportsRadio. Mom to Grogu #StarNerd.” On Instagram, she writes, “Reporter for the NFL Network.🎤Host, The ‘Boys & Girl podcast, FOXSportsRadio 🤘🏼University of Texas.”

“I love how Twitter thinks I’m holding people back by trying to help promote an opportunity to actually move the younger generation forward. An opportunity that would likely not be there bc it’s not in the budget but one that could be invaluable and it’s 6 weeks. Ease up twitter,” she wrote at one point.

“I posted an opportunity for an unpaid internship and I’m amazed the comments I get. It’s not even for me. It’s for someone else and I would have jumped at it in college. I had 3 unpaid internships in school, double majored and had a job. SMH.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Slater Fired Back at Critics of Her Unpaid Internships Post But Later Wrote a Lengthy Explanatory Post

Initially, Slater fired back at critics, writing, “To the people shaming me for my hardworking grandfather and parents who instilled a similar work ethic to achieve success, you are rotten. You have no idea about my childhood or my family but it’s not even close to the picture you all paint. Very ugly people on this app.”

It all started with a post she made about an unpaid internship. The original post read:

“Broadcast journalism students: exciting internship opportunity for you. Can you set up well lit zoom/Skype calls, record, edit them and want access to the league’s top draft prospects? It’s not with @BobbyBeltTX and I but it is in the DFW area. Unpaid. Great experience. Inbox me.” She added, ‘Please send me a link w editing work. This is less about your journalism experience and more editing, coordinating and having working knowledge and enthusiasm for draft prospects and football.”

Slater later wrote a length explanatory post, explaining that she was trying to be helpful to college kids who need a leg up in the industry.

She wrote,

I will never run from a debate and always hope to learn something through engaging with people on this site. So a few thoughts. 1. My initial intent was literally suggesting to a company an ‘internship’ with surrounding colleges to help bolster their interview process w athletes ahead of the draft and a college kid with editing skills would be great. When they said they had no budget, I said I would have killed for that kind of internship and I would put feelers out to see if anyone wanted it. 2. I should have called it a project because it could have been done from a job and at home and was 2 a week for maybe six weeks that they could use as a meaningful resume builder when applying for a job. It’s a tough economy right now, every edge counts. 3. I should not have diminished the grind of others but for someone who has taken every opportunity in a very challenging business I was upset with the mischaracterization and spirit of what I was trying to do. 4. I acknowledge that I had a grandfather who had money but I did not grow up rich. I always had a job and was taught to value hard work and paying my own bills. Did others have it harder? Absolutely. Which is why I always want and feel compelled to help others when I can. 5. It was completely unfair for people to attack my family today, my character or make assumptions about me. 6. But to be very clear, I don’t think you should ever work for free. Especially organizations that have you writing content, logging tape etc. but I also believe if you can gain experience or find a mentor you should. 7. I won’t stop trying to help the next generation and I apologize that I came across ‘elitist’ today. Always trying to learn and Twitter isn’t the best place for these debates.

2. Slater Retweeted Comments That Defended Her Original Post But One Critic Called Her ‘Privileged’

Slater retweeted some comments that defended her original post. Matt Miller, an ESPN NFL draft analyst, wrote, “I turned an unpaid writing opportunity at Bleacher Report into where I am now. Would have never ever made it 10 years in this business or to ESPN without that chance.”

Others also came to her defense.

Albert Breer, a senior NFL reporter, wrote, “Here’s a fact: Lots of people want to work in sports. Because of that, entry-level jobs are challenging in a variety of ways. And if you don’t take one, and make the most of it, someone else will. This also isn’t unique. That’s how competitive industries work.”

Lance Zierlein, of, wrote, “I worked for free from 1994-1996 at a radio station. I also had my own handicapping business at the time that I ran out of the kitchen of my apartment with a wife and two kids. I got my first paid radio show in 1997 and still hustling it today! That’s what up.”

Slater also wrote, “So when students reach out & ask me to mentor them I should say sorry I deserve to be paid for my time? You guys are really reaching here. I get so many and I was one of them saying how can I learn, shadow or get access. That’s what this was in the purest form. This was not 9-5 and 40 days a week it was a cool experience I thought a college kid could benefit from when talking to someone about enhancing their media access in a pandemic to help athletes and their message. Something they didn’t budget for. 2x a week maybe for 6 weeks.”

Here are some of the negative comments she received:

“Love your work, Jane, but the unpaid thing is a relic now. No matter how great the experience. These young people deserve to be paid for their time/talent.”

“Oh, absolutely nothing wrong with her posting the opportunity. It’s great, but her response to the valid critique and refusal to acknowledge her extremely privileged position is a problem. It’s a reality that people who would go for something like that can’t bc circumstances.”

“this is how you gatekeep the media industry. who tf can afford an unpaid position during a pandemic besides ppl with a built-in stable financial foundation and social network?”

“Jane Slater’s family made their wealth in the food manufacturing business. She likely had financial backing keeping her afloat.”

3. Slater Posts Glamour Shots on Instagram & Pictures of Her Broadcasting Career

On Instagram, Slater posts pictures of her broadcasting career as well as glamour shots.

“Did someone say dinner out during a pandemic? Cool. But make it fashion,” she wrote with one video showing her strutting down a hallway.

She lives in Dallas, Texas.

Slater sometimes posts about her parents. “It’s my favorite human’s birthday! Happiest birthday @slaterdanger,” she wrote with one post showing her and her father. “I’m so lucky to have such an amazing dad and who I’m clearly the spawn of….
You are an outstanding husband, friend and hype man who recently has attempted to add matchmaker to the resume—-I promise I will get you a son in law one day 😘 as I sent him a message to tell him HBD… his response was ‘thanks we are glamping.’ To see why he is the treasure I must protect swipe right…please DM me for a media kit and his influencer rates 😂”

She appears to have a boyfriend from her posts.

4. Slater Got Her Start in Radio explains in its bio of Slater, “Jane Slater is a reporter for NFL Network, appearing on several NFL Media properties. Prior to joining NFL Network in 2016, Slater worked for ESPN as an anchor and sideline reporter for the Longhorn Network.”

According to the NFL, “She also worked on the College World Series and college football bowl games for the SEC Network and ESPN. Slater started her career in radio, where she worked for KTVT CBS 11, KRLD News Radio, WFAA Ch. 8, and 105.3 The Fan in the Dallas region. She majored in both Journalism and Government at the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated in 2004.”

Her LinkedIn page also describes jobs at various television stations in Texas.

5. Slater Once Revealed Her Wealthy Grandfather Helped Her Financially

According to Daily Mail, Slater’s grandfather was Uriah ‘Ray’ Shockley, “retired president of Wolf Brand Chili.” Daily Mail says the brand was worth $180 million.

She once told ESPN, “I’m from Rowlett, Texas, and am one of those annoyingly proud Texans that the rest of the country loathes. I am a die-hard Cowboys fan who believes every year is our year. For the record, it was a catch…”

She spoke about her grandfather in that interview, saying, “My grandfather, Ray Shockley. Both of his parents were deaf but he helped raise two incredibly successful siblings. He never received a college degree but managed to become president of Wolf Brand Chili and later made it the official bowl of Texas. He was insistent that I pursue a college education and helped support me both emotionally and financially with receiving one at Texas. He taught me the importance of chasing your dreams and never taking ‘no’ for an answer.”

She also declared herself a fan of yoga in that interview.

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