Journalist 'trucked' by the league.
I am generally not in favor of ratioing employment by skin color. It is its own form of racism. The colleges and some large companies have been doing it for years and it is pathetic. It leads to underperformance and a downward spiral for the entities involved, like what is happening in our society right now. But, I also am totally opposed to outright bias in the workplace. Whether or not Goodell is acting out of racism, or just massive ego at being shown up, the response is not acceptable. Answer the damn question since you are in charge, Roger Goodell. The "buck stops" at your desk, or maybe you don't understand the responsibilities of a CEO and so should not be in that seat.
The underlying question is how can the organizations be held accountable when they control the narrative and access? Kinda like the political system..
Excellent reporting John. Discrimination like this is all too common. Time for meaningful change and professionals like you can help make that happen.
Let’s be clear about the credentials of the reporter summarily banished from Roger Goodell’s media empire and whose silence they thought could purchase for a token severance package:
BEFORE joining NFL Media five years ago, Jim Trotter had covered the league for 29 years for some pretty distinguished media companies.
San Diego Union Tribune.
As a devout fan of the 49ers and NFL follower, I knew his byline well. Thoughtful. Creative. Inquisitive. Thoroughly professional. The sort of person you’d think the league wants telling its stories.
Someone like Trotter isn’t dumped for no reason. Cost-cutting? For a league dripping in cash? Be serious.
Had he lost his fastball? I looked at some of his recent stories. He hadn’t.
Redundancy? Reduced demand for NFL content? Too many people already covering the league? C’mon.
I hope and trust Trotter lands in a good place to expose the hypocrisy and arrogance of the NFL. Roger Goodell has grown so fat and untouchable that the product is suffering severely in terms of social justice (CTE claims by former players, lack of effective action on domestic violence claims, diversity issues). Yes, he does work for the billionaire owners. But, if he had a spine and a conscience instead of his hand out for $63,900,000, he might have a chance to be more than just the guy acting like a godfather hugging players on draft day.
Thank you, as always, for shining a light on this despicable action by the NFL. I hope Trotter comes back with a real big bite against his former employer. Sadly, that's often the only time that organizations pay attention to their wrong-doings.
Looks like someone can say "goodbye" to future NFL press passes.... As always, great article!
Anyone -- including reporters -- who trust a league to cover itself and to accept lock, stock and barrel what comes in on the league's news releases makes a big mistake. Unfortunately today's journalists, sports or otherwise, who came onboard in the 90s and later, are working under different rules than the baby boomers who were getting journalism jobs in the 70s. Suddenly, it's OK to quote people anonymously. (We could never do that.) It's OK to print stories citing some other news outlet as the source. (We could never do that.) It wasn't OK to print a story and cite in print some bit of information that was floated online. (They would never have let us do that, even if we had internet back then.) These days, all sports leagues (and all teams) have their own internal content-driven websites that are pure propaganda for the fans. There are too many journalists deluding themselves by thinking that somehow a league or team won't cover its ass first and foremost, regardless of truth. Additionally, there are too many journalists who are afraid to speak the truth because they might get locked out of the locker room or banned from press gatherings. The lines are totally blurred. The old iron line of demarcation between journalist and source was obliterated long ago. Even calling your guy a "reporter" when he is effectively a PR guy for the league, hired to create content, is a mistake.
Those who want to run stuff do not want to run stuff so that they can find out what other people think of them and the job they are doing; they want to run stuff so that no one can tell them what to do and so they don't have to give a damn what anybody has to say about it.
Thanks for addressing this.
NFL Media exists in part to take market share from other media entities that may or may not be inclined to cover the league more objectively. IE, to appeal to uncritical 'stick to sports' fans. And it's worked.
It's really crazy in 2023, given the diversity progress elsewhere in sports media, that the NFL hasn't addressed this. Suggests a deeper systemic problem, which we'll hopefully learn more about soon.
Keep up the great work.
Goodell (or the league) is a chump to think Trotter would willingly sign a non-disclosure agreement. I hope Trotter writes a book, instead. The NFL can’t keep ignoring diversity and inclusion.
$63.9M a year for what? Arm wrestling with billionaires?
The best people regardless of color should 'start' in every endeavor.
Welcome to the NewSpeak world of journalism/self-promotion in it’s purest form. Respect and reality don’t have much in common anymore - forced compromise and conjecture reign supreme.
“I’m usually pretty good unless I run out of talent”
Thank you for the Bald Faced Truth 💪🏼
Good work, John, again.
It illustrates an unpleasant reality. We can pass all of the laws we can think of to level a playing field that was clearly full of rocks and sinkholes for non-white people in America.
What we can't do by law is force people to look in their hearts and minds for TRUTH about the reality of conditions that created the need for the laws. God forbid we might awaken to that Truth and have to accept some responsibility for them.
Many of us white folks have been doing that for years and more are coming to that "awakening". Unfortunately, like geological ages, it seems to be taking centuries. The brave Jim Trotters of America make sacrifices wielding an axe against the glacier of racism instead of patiently trying to melt it with a match flame, in spite of the slow, less visible progress of that activity.
Why are all NFL broadcasts now made p of 2 men in the booth and a pretty face, young woman on the sideline? Why are all the owners white billionaires? Why are there very few Asian or Latino reporters, coaches, etc.? Where are the Jewish, American Indian, and Muslim people in the NFL? Why are there no women kickers? Where are the gay people? I'm sorry, but it is time to stop JUST paying the age old price for America's original sin that really effectively ended 60 years ago at the least and talk about diversity for all...
It gets very old to just focus on one group....watch a sports game and you will see that 50% of the actors in commercials are now black, as if showing black people makes Fortune 500 companies inclusive. Guess who is under represented in those commercials? That's right...Asians, Latinos, and American Indians, let alone gays or middle easterners. And yet on the other side movie companies want to ram diversity down our throats in stupid ways we all know is not true as if the alternative reality is true, when it is not.
Unfortunately this is the country we live in and it is really nuts! If you remember we now live in a corrupt plutocracy where 50% of the country lives in 1952 you will all feel better about this :)
Thanks for covering this, John. thanks for shining a light in a place that tries to remain out of sight.