About six weeks after publicly asking Roger Goodell for the second time about the lack of diversity in NFL Media leadership, NFL Media decided not to renew Jim Trotter’s contract. Goodell didn’t believe that was a factor in Trotter’s exit, but Trotter felt it was. And even if that wasn’t a factor, the timing sure gives many people a reason to see it that way.
In his Football Morning in America column, Peter King said he talked to Trotter this past Saturday and revealed some things about Trotter’s release. Among them, Trotter revealed that he turned down a severance package from NFL Media that came with a non-disclosure agreement.
Trotter said, “I was offered a three-month severance package, with an NDA [non-disclosure agreement]. I declined.”
It was also revealed that Trotter’s future with NFL Media looked brighter not long ago. King wrote, “[Trotter] told me Saturday that last fall, his agent was told by the network that there was no reason to think the veteran NFL writer wouldn’t have his contract renewed, though he might have to take a pay cut, because the league was cutting back.”
Even though he felt he was let go for raising an important issue, Trotter isn’t making himself out to be a victim. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Trotter said he wasn’t shocked or surprised about what happened because if you’re challenging your employer in a public setting, there’s a chance you’re not going to be there very long. To Trotter, the lack of diversity in NFL Media was something he felt was worth discussing. And if that resulted in him losing his job, so be it.
That might sound strange, but Jim Trotter is a reporter with integrity, and we honestly need more of that in this industry.