Longtime NFL writer Jim Trotter announced Monday that he was leaving the NFL media group after five years, as his contract was not renewed. Trotter, who questioned commissioner Roger Goodell on the ongoing issues with diversity within the league and NFL media newsroom, believes his challenging of the league’s commissioner could’ve played a role in his departure.
In an appearance on Brother From Another with Michael Holley on Tuesday, Trotter said he believes his push for diversity and holding Goodell accountable is part reason for the network’s decision to not renew his contract. However, instead of giving a lengthy discourse on his personal feelings about the network’s decision, he said plans to say more later but believes accountability and transparency are very important considering the league’s current state.
“I will have a lot to say about it at the appropriate time, which is not now,” Trotter said on Tuesday’s show. “What I will say now is that journalism matters, and holding people who are in power accountable matters. And that’s part of our job, regardless of whether it’s our own employer or someone else… “One of the things the NFL always said internally was, ‘Hold us accountable. Hold us accountable as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion.’ And so for the last couple of years, that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
Trotter pointed out that the NFL Media newsroom does not have a Black person at the senior management level who “has a seat at the table” when it comes to how and who will cover the league, although a majority of players are Black. The newsroom also does not have a full-time Black person on the news desk. And to Trotter, “those are issues” that he believes are “unfair to the players” in the league.
“They [NFL players] should have someone who shares either the same or similar life experiences and cultural experiences at the table when we talk about how we are going to cover them,” Trotter said. “… I have raised that repeatedly over the last two years, including at the last two Super Bowls with the commissioner. And there are some who didn’t like it. And I do believe it played a role in my contract not being renewed.”
Trotter’s last day with the network will be March 31. Before his nearly five-year stint with NFL Media, Trotter worked at ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The San Diego Union-Tribune.