February 21, 2024
Jim Trotter lined the Chargers throughout his years with The San Diego Union-Tribune. Instances of San Diego photograph illustration

Two months after former San Diego sportswriter Jim Trotter sued the Nationwide Soccer League over his termination and different points, the NFL has referred to as an audible.

Loretta Lynch letter to federal choose on behalf of the NFL. (PDF)

The league, his employer of 5 years, plans to file a movement to dismiss Trotter’s case as an alternative of tackling his claims at trial.

Former U.S. Legal professional Common Loretta Lynch, representing a number of NFL entities, wrote federal Choose Paul A. Crotty in New York “to set forth the bases for the NFL’s supposed motions to dismiss the criticism and to remain discovery.”

Her four-page letter Friday rejects Trotter’s rivalry that his contract wasn’t renewed due to his powerful Tremendous Bowl Week questioning of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the league’s lack of Black hiring in entrance places of work and head teaching ranks.

“Whereas Plaintiff makes an attempt to characterize his March 2023 non-renewal as retaliation for having ‘publicly challenged’ the NFL Commissioner on the NFL’s variety efforts at a February 2023 press convention, Plaintiff concedes that he posed the very same inquiries to the Commissioner at a previous convention — and remained employed for greater than a yr afterward,” Lynch writes.

Trotter, 60, labored for The San Diego Union-Tribune for 18 years earlier than shifting to Sports activities Illustrated and later ESPN.

The Chula Vista resident now could be a senior author for The Athletic, a New York Instances property, and is anticipated to show journalism college students at San Diego State College subsequent yr.

NBC Sports activities quoted Trotter lawyer Doug Wigdor as saying: “We’re very assured any movement to dismiss can be unsuccessful and is solely an try to delay which is why they’re additionally requesting a keep of discovery.”

Mike Florio of NBC Sports activities added: “Notably absent from Lynch’s letter is any reference in any way to an try to power the case into NFL-controlled arbitration. Trotter’s contract contained no such clause stopping him from looking for aid in open court docket.”

In her 800-word letter, Lynch instructed the choose that Trotter had a two-year contract till 2020 and a three-year renewal ending in 2023.

However in March 2023, she stated, Trotter’s contract expired and — “as a part of a broader cost-cutting measure and strategic shift away from conventional broadcast journalism and in direction of interactive media — the NFL made the choice to not renew the contracts of a number of reporters, together with” Trotter.

Lynch says the NFL defined that to Trotter and “is nicely documented.”

Thus she rejects his claims.

“The details will present that there was nothing retaliatory or discriminatory in regards to the choice to not renew Plaintiff’s contract,” wrote Lynch, who was Eric Holder’s successor as lawyer normal within the Obama administration.

“Even on its face, nonetheless, the Criticism is fatally poor, and it ought to subsequently be dismissed,” she added.

Trotter’s response to the Lynch letter?

“It was anticipated,” he instructed me through direct message on X.