Jim Trotter torches NFL Media's diversity claims: 'Don't fall for the banana in the tailpipe'

By , Audacy Sports

A former NFL Media reporter is not taking his exit from league-affiliated outlets lightly.

Veteran football writer Jim Trotter made waves on Monday when he announced his contract was not being renewed -- prompting questions about whether his departure was related to his grilling of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the league's diversity issues during Super Bowl Media Week in each of the past two years.

During his question for Goodell in February -- following up on similar questions from a year earlier -- Trotter claimed NFL Media's newsrooms had no Black leaders and had not hired a Black full-time staffer on the newsdesk in over a year.

On Monday, after Trotter announced his departure, an unnamed NFL Media source cited by the New York Post seemed to refute the substance of Trotter's questions for Goodell:

An NFL Media official told The Post that 58 percent of full-time employees hired in 2022 were people of color, and that the three most recent NFL Media senior hires are people of color.

Overnight on Tuesday, Trotter returned to social media to respond to the Post's reporting.

"NFL Media told The (NY) Post that 58 percent of full-time employees hired in 2022 were people of color, and that the 3 most recent NFL Media senior hires are POC," Trotter tweeted. "My ? How many Black senior managers are in the NEWSROOM (0) & how many full-time Blacks are on the news desk (0)?

"Please don't fall for the banana in the tailpipe. In a league that says its player population is 60-70% Black, these men deserve to have someone w/ similar cultural and life experiences at the table when decisions are being made about how they will be covered. Seems appropriate."

Trotter went on to say it was important to distinguish between "person of color" and Black people, and accused NFL Media spokesperson Alex Riethmiller of being the Post's source.

"When someone says Person of Color, ask them for the specific data for BLACK people. When someone says Media Group, ask them for specific data for the NEWSROOM. That’s on background, right @AlexRiethmiller?"

Trotter, a Pro Football Hall of Fame Voter, previously worked for ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He spent five years with NFL Media beginning in 2017, mostly splitting his time between NFL Network and NFL.com.

The New York Post had previously reported job cuts were coming to NFL Media.

An unnamed source told the outlet that NFL Media was "taking an extra step or two" in examining "costs and expenditures" given the climate of "broader economic uncertainty."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today