Veteran NFL reporter Jim Trotter has made his rounds within the confines of the media since his days with The San Diego Union-Tribune back in the 1990s.
He’s among the most-respected reporters in the business and is currently the president of the Pro Football Writers of America.
With NFL Media since back in 2018, Trotter just saw his contract terminated. This comes after several awkward Q&A sessions with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the past few years. Primarily, Trotter has pushed back against the narrative that the league is inclusive.
Most recently, that included Trotter rightfully grilling Goodell over the lack of black representation within NFL Media ahead of February’s Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.
This came after Jim Trotter went after Goodell on the narrative that the league is inclusive ahead of last year’s Super Bowl.
For some, Trotter’s back and forth with Goodell is one of the primary reasons the respected reporter saw his contract terminated by NFL Media. Trotter seems to agree with this assessment.
“So, 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, and I will talk about that more later. But so be it, you know? I’m not going to change. And I’m always going to fight for representation, and I’m always going to fight for the truth.”
Realistically, this is all up to interpretation. Roger Goodell and the NFL are not going to admit that Trotter’s relationship with the commissioner played a role in his ousting. Unless an internal memo or something is made public, we’ll likely never have a full story on this situation.
What we do know is that Trotter raised some real issues with Goodell over the past two years.
“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, pointing out that in our newsroom, where we cover a player population that is roughly sixty to seventy percent Black according to league data, there is no Black person in senior management in our newsroom who has a seat at the table when we are deciding how we are going to cover these players and who is going to cover them.”
Jim Trotter on lack of diversity at NFL Media
NFL.com’s current roster lists 14 show hosts on its network. You be the judge about how it looks.
As for Trotter’s broader point on demographics, 56.4% of NFL players last season were African-American. There is rightful concern over the lack of diversity within the league itself given this breakdown.
It has been a continual issue for the NFL over the past several decades. Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is currently suing the league and its teams, citing racial discrimination in the hiring process of coaches and front office personnel.
This is not going to go away any time soon. And in reality, it would not be a surprise if Jim Trotter filed suit himself. He’s well within his rights.
Looking at it from a macro perspective, the NFL can’t afford to find itself in the news cycle for all the wrong reasons. In addition to the Flores’ lawsuit, the issues with outgoing Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has not painted the league in the best of lights.
Of course, we can’t forget Colin Kaepernick’s lawsuit against the NFL and the fact that he hasn’t played a snap since the 2016 season after initiating National Anthem protests to highlight race-based issues in modern day American society.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.