Former NFL Media Journalist Jim Trotter Says League ‘Watered Down’ And ‘Silenced’ His Voice

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Jim Trotter, a veteran NFL reporter, recently left NFL Media and joined The Athletic. Trotter previously worked at ESPN.

Trotter became most-known as the reporter who pressed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on issues regarding diversity. He questioned not having enough black people within the media group.

For two consecutive years at Super Bowl media week, Trotter asked Goodell about the league’s diversity efforts.

Trotter focused heavily on the racial makeup of the NFL Media newsroom.

“I have worked at NFL Media for five years,” Trotter said, according to The Sun. “During those five years we have never had a black person in senior management in our newsroom.

“That’s a problem because we cover a league who, according to league data, the player population is 60 to 70 percent black which means that there is no one who looks like these players at the table when decisions are being made about how they are covered.”

NFL reporter Jim Trotter speaks during a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LVII at the Phoenix Convention Center.
NFL reporter Jim Trotter speaks during a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LVII at the Phoenix Convention Center on February 8, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

The Commissioner struggled to answer the question and many in the media jumped on Goodell’s stumbling.

NFL Media declined to renew Jim Trotter’s contract in March and he landed with The Athletic

Less than two months later, NFL Media declined to renew Trotter’s contract, effectively ending his tenure. Of course, the natural assumption became that Trotter’s question of Goodell played a major role in the decision.

Trotter believed that to be true, as well.

As OutKick’s Matt Reigle reported at the time, Trotter sent a series of tweets alleging that NFL Media covers for its owners.

Trotter has officially joined The Athletic and is doubling-down with his grievances against the league.

In an article posted Wednesday, Trotter claims that the league tried to stop him from reporting on subjects it didn’t like. He says he joined The Athletic so he can write and report more freely.

“I no longer have to worry about my words being watered down or silenced altogether, which was not always the case over my final two years with NFL Media Group, which is owned by the NFL,” Trotter wrote.

“I was told we would always report the news, though we might not opine on it. That was not the case, particularly when it came to reporting on team owners or the league office.”

With Trotter now free to cover the league as he sees fit, it will be interesting to see how scorched earth he chooses to go.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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